'Luxury basics' is a worn-out phrase, mainly because it's used of any slub T-shirt that costs over £30. It takes a collection like Tomas Maier's for Bottega Veneta in Milan today to really define what is meant by it - that is, the cosiest, comfiest and most simple clothes made from the most refined and polished materials available.
Inspired by a dancer's wardrobe, Maier presented chunky cotton cardigans, papery poplin as belted jackets and relaxed trenchcoats, and substantial linens, fine knits and double-faced cotton. Sleeveless hoodies, sweatshirts and track shorts summoned the warm-up room, or the journey to the studio, poised and elegant is in its utter lack of statement.
That was underlined by the colour palette too - a carefully chosen selection of almost-shades. A tonal sort of pink and grey, bordering on the ice, and a faint grey that rippled on sumptuous suede cut into long coats, short Harrington-style jackets and supple, none too clingy trousers.
What was obvious here was Maier's generosity - with fabric, with ease, with classic, un-crowded design and a lack of self-consciousness that his customers love him for. They pay handsomely for it, of course, but with this label the difference between, say, an average denim skirt and the indigo-black selvedge circle skirts Maier showed this morning yawns like a chasm.
But as ever, the man himself was as diffident as the clothes, preferring the 'before' look at the dance studio to the 'after' of actual performance. No matter: these are clothes worthy of a prima donna, they just don't shout about it and that's how the Bottega woman likes things.