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 last week began with a daybreak of sorts, in lighter shades of mauve and lavender in organzas and double crepe.
Shoulders were emphasised, 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 programme notes said, 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 Beijing 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 than Sophia Loren? The beautiful 77-year-old film star sat in the front row.
"It was magnificent," she said.