Jil Sander channels minimalist sophistication
There was an almost tropical atmosphere at Jil Sander this season, with the brand choosing to host it's runway show in a disused panettone factory where, here and there, tufts of vegetation could be seen poking through the floor's broken terracotta tiles. Austere but original in its use of shapes and fabrics, the German label's latest collection fit in perfectly with these surroundings, where birdsong echoed off walls covered in saltpetre and sunlight filtered through a dilapidated skylight.
For Spring/Summer 2019, the husband and wife team formed by designers Lucie and Luke Meier continued the introspective work they started at the brand a year ago, maintaining its core spirit but updating it with little touches. The collection was still very graphic, following the minimalist bent that has long characterised Jil Sander, while also exploring new avenues in terms of construction, material, shape and weight.
The palette was sober, ranging from a number of completely white and black looks to natural shades, such as ecru, almond and chocolate. Colour made an appearance in a series of knitwear pieces that draped around the models' bodies, large cardigans and maxi skirts which brought a touch of softness to a wardrobe otherwise dominated by sharper silhouettes. Indeed, the designers had taken inspiration from uniforms to develop a collection with a predominantly androgynous aesthetic.
Wide-legged trousers were centre stage, paired with geometric tunics of varying lengths, or with large shirt jackets to make oversized monochrome pantsuits. The same tunics were also worn over pleated miniskirts. The wardrobe was then complemented by transparent pieces made in practically insubstantial fabrics, all of which were layered on top of each other. Long crochet dresses were piled up with baggy pullovers featuring abstract designs, lending everything a loose and easy feel – perhaps a touch too loose and easy.
Luke and Lucie Meier also put a lot into their accessories this season, spotlighting Italian craftsmanship with immaculately constructed footwear and bags, which ranged from miniature pouches to larger pieces featuring a shoulder strap on one side and a handle on the other.
Some pieces were real fashionista-pleasers, such as the platformed Japanese geta sandals and the flat lace-up leather ankle boots which put one in mind of ballet slippers and were topped off with a metallic ring. Another original accessory took the form of opaque thigh-high stockings which covered models' shoes and finished in a peep-toe.
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