- Associated Press - Saturday, September 22, 2012

MILAN (AP) - Women worrying about next summer’s fashionable hemline needn’t fuss. Everything is in.

Midway through Milan Fashion Week, it’s clear designers are leaving it up to personal choice, offering everything from a trailing gown to a mini-skirt.

Bottega Veneta is the iconoclast, sticking to one hem length: a ladylike just below the knee.

If anything, the pant is getting short-shrift. Cropped pants are the favorite look, and gauchos are making a minor comeback. Short shorts are definitely in _ often set off by billowing tops. Here, too, designers are hedging their bets, offering skinny cigarette pants or ample palazzo pajama pants.

The blousy top and fitted bottom is the preferred silhouette. A lot of volume is in the sleeves.

Often a slim belt provides definition.

The print parade continues. Aquilano Rimondi had harlequin prints. Bottega Veneta showed delicate florals. And Fendi went for sunbursts.

But solids are also a clear trend, with a lot of earthy, natural colors: mustard, apricot, browns, blossom pink.



Jil Sander has returned, and it shows.

No more dabbling into romantic or experimental styles, as happened when the label was in the creative hands of Raf Simons. It’s back to minimalist basics for the 68-year-old German designer.

Black is black white is white, a jacket is a jacket, a blouse is a blouse, and a skirt or trouser is a skirt or trouser. After founding the company in the late 1960s she came and left it several times before taking it back in spring 2012, and showing her first menswear in June.

For her women’s comeback debut Sander concentrated on volume games, creating an interplay between abundance and fittedness, often showing a slim back paired with a bold front. As usual, she only used fabric of the highest quality.

Along with different forms to choose from, ranging from tapered to conic, from straight up and down to sculpted and curvy, the collection was highly wearable.

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