SIMPLICITY and refinement are the avowed aims of Gianni Versace in his autumn/winter women's wear collection, which places great emphasis on the suit. 'A woman wants to be more refined than ever nowadays, even during the day,' the designer said. 'The atmosphere is straight out of a 1950s Hollywood movie when the office suit was a masterpiece of tailoring.' This means easy, wearable clothes, with a hint of luxury in the details. Suits are tailored to fit the curves of the body, with varying proportions and pleats or vents to add movement and fluidity. Jackets feature 1950s-style pockets at the hip and demure collars and are worn with pencil-slim skirts. 'Most of the suit skirts are either knee-length or just above the knee and they are all very tapered,' said Belinda Kwan, the general manager. Coats also make a comeback, in different executions such as cotton or satin lined with wool, or leather lined with satin. The contrast lining makes for an interesting effect on turned-up cuffs. 'This season they are very lightweight, which is ideal for Hong Kong,' Ms Kwan said. There are also normal wool coats for day and velvet coats for evening, mostly in knee-length styles. Dress lengths have also dropped to mid-thigh or just above the knee. 'Dresses are the basic sack shape like in the 1960s,' Ms Kwan said. Sometimes they are worn in an ensemble with demure, matching jackets. Knitwear has become a tour de force in Versace collections and, this season, it encompasses basic knits to wear under suits. 'He's done some very simple, tiny cashmere tops with a round, little-girl collar and maybe one button at the neck,' Ms Kwan said. Twinsets in pure wool knit also claim a prominent place this season, teaming short sleeveless or short-sleeved tops with matching short cardigans. 'They are very pretty, in strong geometrical patterns, some black and white mixed with pastels, some all pastel. The shape is still fairly figure-hugging,' Ms Kwan said, adding that this winter everything was fitted. To go with knitwear for a casual look, Versace has some short skirts with unusual pleats. In the colour palette, black and white are both very strong this season. 'It's the first time for many years that he's done a lot of white for winter - white suits, white pants and the like,' Ms Kwan said. Pastels still hold their own, but have changed their complexion slightly. 'This time they are not baby pastels,' Ms Kwan said. 'They are a bit more dusty, more subtle, like very pale green, pale salmon and pale blue. They have also come out with pearl grey, a very light grey which makes a change from the mid-to-dark grey you usually see in winter.' Despite the name, it is not an iridescent shade. Jeans are a Versace staple and this season's fabrics include corduroy, denim and even crushed velvet which is reminiscent of the 1970s.