After being made to stand in a huddle for over half an hour in the freezing Milanese drizzle, frazzled editors were finally squeezed through a wall of thuggish security guards and into the Jil Sander showroom.

Unfortunately, the wait was not particularly rewarding: Without its founding designer, Jil Sander has not yet managed to find its stride. Austere overcoats, blazers and sheath dresses blended together in a parade of black; a series of sheared fur jackets, burgundy velvet blazers and billowy trousers tucked into mannish boots could not alleviate the monotony. While there were a few smart dresses and all-purpose coats in the mix, it is clear that what Jil Sander the label misses desperately is, quite simply, Jil Sander the designer.