Just where Jil Sander was to go, after last season's knock out neon collection, had packed audiences praying it would be something that lifted their spirits as much. Just looking around Milan Fashion Week, Raf Simons at Jil's influence is everywhere. From the colour pop bags, to the bright trousers, to Anna Dello Russo's full fluoro suit (Jil, natch), he has a bating - and money'd up) audience at his feet.
Thank God then he didn't pull the rug from under us and insist on a 'serious' collection. Of couse it was beautiful, grown-up and wearable, but there was such a playful element through the entire collection. Opening with a strict black look, with pleated ski pants (more of which later) and a cropped slim fit jacket, it said little about the silhouette that was to come. While the trouser shape stayed the same, dropped shoulder cocoon coats, dresses and jackets redefined the way we've been dressing lately. S/S '10 tunics and loose trousers may feel right for now, but the fear is that come A/W '11, we'll all have put on a stone just because we could hide it under billowing shifts of fabric! Raf, while encouraging more voluminous tops, and even the maxi he's made so popular for summer, he doesn't have them swamping the body. In fact his AW offering was more feminine than the tightest bodycon dress.
There were also flashes of neon, altough not nearly as arresting as before. Instead he has paired it down to accessories or flashes in knitwear and it was the stunning cobolt blue, pillarbox red and canary yellow that will be the standout shades come September, while his floral print would even have the strictist of dressers run out and buy the suit. But the stand out thought on everyone's mind as they left the venue was...'ski pants, by Jil Sander? You know what I totally would!' And do you know what? You TOTALLY will too.
- Kay Barron