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MFW: Giorgio Armani does an '80s time warp

February 27, 2009 |  9:08 am

"Dynasty"-era sculpted jackets, strange millinery (black patent beanies cocked to the side) anRage_armani2_2d dangling earrings combined to make Giorgio Armani's fall collection an '80s time warp in the worst way.

At the base were wrap-front skirts worn with opaque black tights, and shiny, unflattering tight black pants. Add to that all manner of knit shawls and cape coats in a spectrum of grays, plus the hats and jewelry, and you didn't get a playful homage to the go-go decade, as so many other designers have done this season. You got something as old and musty as Sophia Loren's Oscar dress.

Speaking of gowns, for fall, Armani's are tea-length,  crystal-dusted sheaths, shown with matching crystal-dusted flat boots and velvet turbans. Zero sex appeal.

There were a few great jackets, as there always are -- draped and gathered into a single button closure, or ruffled at the collar.  And thankfully, he did spare us the usual controversial pants silhouette. But a note about the production -- why must Armani send his models Rage_armani3_2 out in twos, hands on hips, like the spooky twins in "The Shining"? It's such an odd distraction.

The best thing about the whole enterprise was the Tina Turner soundtrack. What did Armani take his bow to? Choruses of "Simply the Best," what else?

-- Booth Moore

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Photos: Giorgio Armani's fall 2009 women's collection on the runway during Milan fashion week. Credits: Matteo Bazzi / European Pressphoto Agency (top) and Luca Bruno / Associated Press (bottom).