Milan Fashion Week: All things bright and beautiful...

Designers mark next season's change with clean lines and dazzling colour

Clean lines and block colour. That's how the spring/summer collections from Jil Sander and MaxMara propose that we move on from the neutral hues and minimal tailoring that have struck such a chord this season. It's a convincing progression; after all, camel trousers won't seem so right when the sun comes out, and no matter how timeless "real clothes" are, beautiful alternatives will always make us crave something new.

The Jil Sander collection, designed by Raf Simons, was especially beautiful, featuring simple shapes and lines that offered the perfect canvas for shocking pink, purple, magenta, coral red, electric blue, grass green, yellow and orange. Dresses came as loose shifts and in a flared triangular shape which seems to be a burgeoning trend.

Earlier in the day MaxMara offered a collection billed as "minimal tailoring, new purism, athletic chic". First, the focus was on pale beige shades and white. Outfits included a funnel-neck trench and split-leg palazzo pants. Then the colour kicked in with cropped fitted flares, silk duster coats and suits in red, tangerine, buttercup, lemon and violet. A black-and-white striped shift confirmed the stripey trend that emerged at Versace and Prada.

Given that Giorgio Armani billed his spring/summer Emporio Armani collection as "Fancy Girl", it was never going to be minimal. Instead, the designer showed off layering and contrasting lengths. Leggings and fitted skirts in stretch tulle were worn under silk dresses, and the palette included icy blues and greys as well as sandy beige with flashes of red.

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