MFW show report: Jil Sander

28 September 2009


How many ways can you reinvent a classic? If it's up to Raf Simons at Jil Sander, the options are endless. The show venue was hung with video screens so the audience could while away the waiting time looking at work by artists Christo and Richard Long. As the show started, the screens switched to a movie of a couple making out in a dusty desert. And here is where I have a confession to make. By the end of the show , I am reliably informed, they were naked and having full blown sex. But to be honest, the clothes were so fabulous I didn't notice. What on earth does that say about me? Grazia's possible I have been in the fashion biz too long.

So what could be so absorbing on the catwalk that I didn't notice six overhead screens were showing a shagfest? If I tell you there were beautiful takes on a safari jacket you'll think I am beyond help. But seriously, it's intriguing to see a designer taking on the challenges of designing luxury in the credit crunch. All too often the temptation to drift into the territory of the classic in order to make sales in a difficult market proves fatal (for catwalk shows at least). But Raf Simons has taken the most familiar fashion favourites to a whole new level.

The show opened with those safari jackets, cut in soft summer weight wool and cut out in the back so from behind they looked like two piece suits. These were wrapped close to the body and worn over shorts. Crisp cotton dirndls were split in front and worn with shorts and topped off with soft semi-opaque duster coats. It was pretty leggy throughout, but there were some great wide legged trousers and single breasted jackets cut from the waist up in sheer fabric and from the waist down in opaque. A cream wool shift dress with elbow length sleeves looked as if the back was simply ripped out leaving a jagged edge around the scoop. Turned out the movie was something cultish by Antonioni in the 70's. But frankly, Raf Simons for Jil Sander is better than sex.

What we loved:
Cream safari jackets with seams bound in
White Dirndls and crisp jackets over shorts
Horizontal frilled cream dress
Rough safari suits with ripped pockets
Irridescent foil dresses

- Paula Reed in Milan


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