In Milan, bold, even electric solids shout down neutral hues

Max Mara and Jil Sander shouted out with bold, even electric, solids and Blumarine painted leopard's spots on pink and pistachio, as Bottega Veneta toned it down at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday.

A woman's options for self-expression will be wide open in spring/summer 2011, when Emporio Armani will add a knee-hugging underskirt into the mix.

Max Mara proposed confident lemon yellow, red, orange and violet in close-fitting, long-sleeved knit tops tucked into matching mid-length shorts or slightly flared trousers ending above the ankle.

Mixing colours was allowed, but only in solid swathes or in a narrow belt.

Models' backs were much in evidence in braless cutaways or halter tops.

A couple of black-and-white creations stood out against all the colour, including a striped jacket with large lapels bearing the motif in diagonal, over matching panties offering the curvy version.

Black fur made an appearance as well in a playful two-piece consisting of a waist-high panty paired with a band around the breast, or in the front panel of a black skirt.

Trenches were flowing and fun, including a black one with oversize polka dots and an orange belt.

Then Jil Sander turned on the power, proposing shocking pink, electric blue and, by her own admission, "toxic" green, yellow and orange in a collection in which colours, not couture, were in charge.

Simple white T-shirts were the foil to fluorescent floor-length skirts or culottes with minimal tailoring, their drawstring waists sometimes topped with day-glo orange ruffles.

The body hid under "super-sized" dresses or trousers, "oversized" blousons and windbreakers.

Tailored jackets entered the scene in some layered creations alternating the fluorescent colours in raincoat, vest and shirt atop stovepipe trousers in day-glo pink or yellow.

Next to these outfits, an ensemble pairing a top alternating vertical black and transparent stripes with a skirt featuring horizontal pink and white ones looked positively tame.

Bottega Veneta achieved the opposite, with neutral colours such as grey, beige, milky white or cream, grey and blue-black underpinning a look described as "unobtrusive sophistication."

Materials were typically varied and subtly combined, such as in a silk and leather dress overlain with fine chainmail.

A black "liquid jersey" dress was embroidered with titanium, while embroidery also featured in cotton and linen silk shirts.

Blumarine meanwhile used a leopard spot motif to unify a collection full of youthful abandon.

The motif appeared on pink, turquoise, pistachio in silk jersey and chiffon crepon dresses and caftans inspired by the butterfly, with extra long sleeves or scarves trailing behind the models.

Diminutive blonde designer Anna Molinari, rather than offering the usual discreet wave from the far end of the catwalk, strutted almost the whole way down, accepting a bouquet of roses along the way.

Emporio Armani's "fancy girl", for her part, will be wearing a narrow stretch tulle skirt under her short flared dress next spring, an alternative to the more boyish leggings.

The underskirt stretching to well below the knees, gathered at the sideseams for a slight draping effect, appeared under layered frocks or classic Armani voile dresses as an extra tier, atop two-tone canvas and nappa ankle boots.

Casual bermudas came in satin; ruffles were in horizontal layers on blouses, vertical up the side seams of trousers for a fluttery look.

As with Bottega Veneta, the palette was understated: light grey and sandy beige, with flashes of metallic green, only giving way to watermelon red for "coup de theatre" evening wear.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

    Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Wakefield Deal...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat