Raf Simons' work at Jil Sander continues on its brilliant path at this season’s Fall 2011 show. We’ve seen so many iconic brands take nosedives when their founders no longer helm them, Simons’ has not only managed to keep the core of the Sander brand alive, which is to say wearable and functional with an emphasis on high quality fabrics, but has managed to do so while infusing the brand with a unique flare and a keen sense of proportion, both of which have been essential in growing the brand beyond what some may have considered cold minimalism.
The unforgettable maximalist versus minimalist volumes that played into the designer’s Spring 2011 continued this season, but also appeared in new proportions and with a focus on daywear. The most obvious nod to last season was the button down blue and brown skirted look, but Simons expanded on that silhouette with similarly couture-inspired looks making for stunning sculpted cocoon coats, molded trenches, and below-the-knee and knee-grazing looks with more streamlines and angular cuts. Playing into the designer’s skiwear inspiration were lean stirrup-pants, liner tops with a lightweight, puffy appearance, hooded sweaters, and down-filled skirts. What made the looks so inspired, however, was that unlike couture or skiwear that can often appear cumbersome, Simons’ looks – despite their volume – appeared in true Jil Sander style: effortlessly weightless and comfortable (albeit not as easy to pull-off as what some die-hard Jil Sander fans may have been expecting).
As notable as the proportions were, once again it was Simons’ color palette that stands out, including lusciously popping shades of red, blue, and mint green alongside teal, gray, cream, and black.
Photos: Vincenzo Grillo, IMAXtree.