Models wear creations as part of the Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19 collection. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Colour is the answer in times of sadness and austerity, according to Italian designer Giorgio Armani who showcased his spring summer 2018 collection at Milan Fashion Week on Friday.

"I do not see why I have to dwell on sadness, making women even sadder. I answer with colours in a time of sadness," the 83-year-old designer told reporters after the show.

Designer Giorgio Armani poses with models at the end of his womens Fall/Winter 2018/19 show. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

He added that the inspiration for the clothes did not come from a specific art movement or period but was more about "different strokes of colour".

The collection drew together most of Armani's characteristic traits: crisp cuts, asymmetrical lines, bright colours side by side with black and strong geometric patterns.

But unlike past designs, Armani used a palette of pastel colours, with many of his creations in light blues, pinks and pale aquamarine.

Models wore chiffon flower-patterned skirts with elaborate tops, silk ankle-high trousers in vivid hues were matched with long coats with ginkgo leaf designs and sleek black short coats sat over graphic patterned tops.

Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)
Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Most of the looks were embellished with colourful geometric plexiglass earrings, some with big collars made of bright pieces of fabric styled as eclectic scarves.

Colours only briefly disappeared for some styles in grey and silver and then beige, for both man and woman, while evening wear creations were dominated by black.

Giorgio Armani womens Fall/Winter 2018/19. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Many of the models, with hair styled in rigorous asymmetrical bobs, wore long mesh veils, some dotted with small coloured pom-poms.

Giorgio Armani explained that the veils were used to convey mystery and that his idea of a typical evening was "not too important but still precious.. like an elegant cocktail".

The Italian fashion house, which usually holds two separate shows during Milan Fashion Week, one each for its Giorgio Armani and for Emporio Armani ranges, this year decided to show the latter in London on the day its renovated Bond Street store opened, earlier in September.

The group is reorganising its brands around three core labels and streamlining its shop network to counter a difficult business environment.

Reuters - Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Keith Weir