Giorgio Armani does well with blue. It seems to dominate his most memorable collections of the past few decades. And even if today’s spirited shade of cornflower lacked the mysterious intensity of the desert sky at night (his best blue), it didn’t let him down, whether it was coloring draped shorts or a ruffled party frock.

That wasn’t the whole story. This being Armani, there were many other options: white and gray and every shade of blue, from sky to navy to gunmetal to the vibrant metallic that closed the show. What tied them all together was the collection’s fresh, casual attitude. Cropped, hip-slung pants set the tone at the start. A jersey “biker” with matching tee and pleated pants tied in a bow carried it on. That’s not to say there weren’t hints of ingenuity in the clothing, like the jumpsuit that combined pop-top and pleats in one trompe l’oeil package. And even the expected flourish of eccentricity was oddly attractive—PVC printed in a blue tortoiseshell pattern peeked from under a hem.

Blue comes down to sea and sky. Armani managed to evoke both, which made his Emporio collection an appropriate precursor to Spring 2015.

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