MILAN (AP) -- Tall, almost Puritan collars gave gravitas to Jil Sander's first winter menswear collection since returning to the label she founded.
The ample lapels made prominent in the collection for next fall/winter presented Saturday on the first day of Milan Fashion Week often contrasted in tone or texture with the jacket or sweater they accented, and were sometimes layered over more traditional notched lapels. Short-cropped hair kept the focus on neckline.
Suit jackets were kept mostly shorter and allowed to billow slightly in the back. This permitted whimsical layering with longer sweaters underneath -- and most of the suits were finished with sweaters, crew necks or mock turtlenecks, rather than shirts. Pants were straight, and ankle-length, giving way to well-polished boots.
While the looks adhered to the line's minimalist credo -- simplicity and clean lines -- there was nothing austere about it.
The colors and fabrics were both lush and luxurious. Crimson, cobalt and pine contrasted soothingly with more sober grays and black. Even strong shades were easy on the eyes. Materials included chunky corduroy, cashmere knit and leather.
For fun, Sander offered sleeveless pull-over vests, leaving arms and shoulders bare, and sometimes bi-colored in Harlequin fashion. For more serious moments, there were double-breasted pinstripes, distinguished with monochrome panels.
Bare winter branches glimpsed through the windows beyond the runway were in perfect harmony with the minimalist looks presented inside.