The first piece of Jil Sander I bought was at Barneys when I was in college. It is an ivory cashmere top that I still own and wear. From the front it looks like a sleeveless shell. The neckline goes straight across. From behind there are precisely curved slits that go down the spine so that there is exposure of the back in a regimented way. The exactness in my top is what remains in Ms. Sander’s collections since her return to the house and what still resonates with me when I see the garments up close. The aesthetic is often seemingly simple but the attention to detail is apparent. The beauty of Jil Sander’s aesthetic is in its precision and simplicity.
In her program notes I read “as structured as a gemstone, as intriguing as moving shadows.” It is this balance of austerity and elegance that was particular to this show. The mood was serene and accompanied by the mellow soundtrack of Pinkunoizu’s I Can’t Slow Down. From the back several looks had triangular folds up top, which seemingly elongated the neck. The models’ long sharp ponytails drew a line through the center of the folds. Color combinations of deep indigo with dark brown, cerulean blue with grey and saffron orange with black looked rich. Overall silhouettes were controlled in volume, elongated and slightly defined at the waist. Gold bars that appeared on the last few looks, our favorites, were unexpected and just the sort of quiet flare that makes sense for Jil Sander today.
In the showroom I had the lovely chance to meet Ms. Sander for a moment. She spoke of bringing the heritage of Jil Sander back. “There are improvements that need to be made” she said in an optimistic voice. She alluded to the idea that the collection needs to modernize with today’s “fashion smart” woman. The fall show was a positive step forward in this direction.