PARIS, France — If one more person had said, “Orange is the new black,” after Giorgio Armani’s couture show on Tuesday night, I might have hurled a pumpkin at them. But at that point I didn’t know that one of orange’s traditional connotations is “emotional strength in difficult times,” so I ought to have been thanking Mr Armani for his succour. And there was one dress, at least — a one-shouldered affair in plissé silk organza — that embodied exactly why he would have chosen such a definitive, polarising shade for Privé. It was every resistance-is-futile thing you could wish for in orange.
You could attach other rationales to Armani’s decision. The contrariness, for one thing, like doing a whole collection in green. But the deep, warm blues of North African desert skies have yielded the biggest dividends for the designer in recent years, and orange gave him an opportunity to explore another flavour in that nomadic palette. It would have made a wonderful combination with the blue. Instead, he favoured black and silver as the accents here, for orange in every shade from sunset to peach. Undoubtedly more dramatic, the contrast also twisted the collection eastwards, to the regions whose couture clients lined the front row. A printed silk group had the gauzy intensity of sunset through sandstorm. And the handful of jackets and pants that opened the show could have been daywear for a 21st century Scheherazade, so subtly but richly decorated were they.