PARIS - Giorgio Armani found romance in the midnight sky in a sumptuous haute couture collection that followed the changing hues of the sun.
His accomplished fall-winter collection 2012 on Tuesday began with a daybreak of sorts, in lighter shades of mauve and lavender in organzas and double crepe.
Shoulders were emphasized, some with upward scooped tailoring. Others had upper bodices in graduated shades of pink — dawn's first rays of sunshine.
Then as the sun set, the couture got to work.
Embroidered veils appeared, signalling the dimness of dusk. Geometric embroidery accompanied black tulle tops with Swarovski crystals.
Spectators gasped as the show climaxed at midnight (in blue, naturally) with some of the most sumptuous dresses seen this season.
A blue silk bustier dress — the program notes say, made of triple organza — rippled with its generous overlaid skirt and a gentle tulle shoulder shrug.
The subtlety proves one thing: Armani lives up to his reputation for versatility.
Only last month, in Bejing he staged a show with bright va-va voom, mermaid silhouettes.
Here, things were more restrained and the looks, mirroring the cycle of time, oozed elegant sensuality.
And what better advertisement for elegance across time is Sophia Loren? The beautiful 77-year old film star sat in the front row.
"It was magnificent," she said.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP