Emporio Armani RTW Fall 2023

Roll up!

The Emporio Armani circus landed in the designer’s Tadao Ando-designed theater with staging in the round, and models who smiled and actually looked like they were having fun. They circled the stage dressed in jodhpurs, jewel-toned velvet jackets and sturdy, knee-high boots, looking good enough to tame a lion, or shoot out of a cannon.

As a fashion show concept, it could have gone horribly wrong, but this colorful, tailored take on Big Top style was sharp, energetic and crammed with classic, wearable pieces that had retro flair.


Jackets were the main attraction here, and came in myriad shapes and fabrics.

They were snug-fitting with asymmetrical buttons or double-breasted with hussar flair. There were cropped schoolboy styles in gray herringbone, and single-button velvet ones in shades of emerald or sapphire.

Jackets were adorned with contrasting neckties or rosettes, and layered over white shirts with high, knotted collars, or contrasting ruffled blouses. Armani topped off his looks with bowler hats and jaunty berets that gave the looks a chic, old-world edge.

Dresses ranged from the discreet and elegant — as in a short black A-line number worn with a pearly white knotted scarf — to a spectacular silver sequin style with a fat black rosette at the neck. Skirts were bouncy, with iridescent layers, while a pink wooly skater style had ’80s flair.

Some of the sideshows were underwhelming. Pink and purple prints on wide-leg trousers were loud and clownish, while the bubblegum-colored furs looked as if they walked off “The Muppet Show.”

Still, Armani said he had fun putting it all together, and it showed. This circus of chic should roll into town more often.

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