Milan Fashion Week: Business as usual at Jil Sander despite loss of leader while Bottega Veneta separates the women from the girls

Outerwear silhouettes are strong and well definedwhile shift dresses are folded, draped and twisted close to the body

The sun made an appearance in Milan today, as Italy welcomed a new prime minister, the youngest in its history, into office. In politics as in fashion, the effects of changes at the top can ripple to the furthest shores, or they can seem to make little difference as business continues as normal.

The Jil Sander regime is currently without a figurehead – the eponymous designer left the label she founded in October, citing undisclosed personal reasons, the third time she has done so. The collection presented by the design team today was no less polished for not having a single leader and certainly wasn't lacking the Sander signatures. Literal reference to the blend of ideas that is inevitable when such a structure is in place could be read in to the melange wool and cashmere blends that opened the collection as outerwear with hidden buttons and high necks – protective in a way – in muted, dusky pastels. The colour palette was enlivened here and there thanks to shades of rose, mustard, apricot and spearmint. The silhouette for outerwear was strong and well defined with dropped shoulders and jackets structured away from the body: coats were long and cocoon-like, jackets swingy and cropped to the hip. Casual tailored trousers were cropped too, better to see flatform-soled lace-ups striped with off shades of yellow and blue leather and snake and wedge heeled boots that had a hiking attitude, if none of the grip necessary for that outdoor pursuit.

Shift dresses were folded, draped and twisted close to the body, bands of fabrics cross-sectioning jersey and silk. The lightweight fabrics clinging to the body here and there, while such contortions adding no bulk. A sense of tranquility was the design team's goal, and indeed there was a serenity and simplicity to the collection that belied the construction beneath. While this will no doubt be seen as a job well done, a label inevitably suffers without a leader and it will be interesting to see who will next take the helm at Jil Sander, or if she herself will ever be persuaded to return for another round.

  Abstracted stripes and optical patterns bisect wool crepe and jersey dresses at Bottega Veneta Abstracted stripes and optical patterns bisect wool crepe and jersey dresses at Bottega Veneta

The creative director of Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier, is not the headline grabbing sort – fitting really as neither is that label's aesthetic. These are clothes for the stealthily wealthy, women with confidence enough to show restraint where symbols of wealth are concerned. Women that is, not girls, for though Maier's designs are feminine – beautifully so – they simply aren't girlish.

Abstracted stripes and optical patterns bisected wool crepe and jersey dresses - some pleated, some slit, others twisted and tucked. The silhouette remained close to the body and a pale palette was fortified by traditionally autumnal shades of forest green, aubergine and a rich oxblood. A classical collection, there were hints of experimentation too: a grey wool school marm skirt was spray-painted and embroidered to create a trompe l'oiel impression of more pleats. “The collection is about movement, energy and focus,” said Maier. “We are always thinking about what clothes should do for a woman and her personal experience of them.” Those fortunate enough to get up close and personal with Maier's designs will no doubt appreciate that sentiment.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
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

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all