Giorgio Armani opted for a familiar palette for the Armani Prive Autumn / Winter 2012 couture show. Inky midnight blues, pops of paste hues and lots of black and blue-black shades dominated the show, which was set against a star-studded twilight setting. Though there were plenty of Armani's usual sheath dresses and silk gowns on offer, it was the trousers that stood out.


Neat 1930s style slacks with front creases came in velvet and heavy silk, teamed with close-fitting tops and cropped jackets with curved seams and puffy sleeves in heavy-looking fabrics. This new silhouette - a 30s-meets-60s look in block colour - was one of the keys to the show's success. These looks were topped with tilted velvet caps - and the effect when models stepped out in pairs was really striking.


Moving on to eveningwear, a line-up of heavy black winter gowns closed the show, making the most of Armani Prive's minimalist attitude to couture. If it fits well and hangs perfectly, it doesn't need to be embellished to the high heavens.

That said, some sparkle came in the shape of square sequins covering a floor-length sleeved number in black with blue and red detail, and on starburst motifs on the necks and waists of structured, heavy velvet and satin dresses. Flashes of purple added to the night sky colour scheme.