Jil Sander: Poetry in a power plant
Ours is not a minimalist era. Instagram has long ago blunted the yearning for restraint and discretion. Yet, rather remarkably, the design duo of Lucie and Luke Meier have managed to make the house of Jil Sander, the minimalist fashion brand par excellence, seem – indeed be – really relevant again.
That much was abundantly clear after their poetic show staged in the latest revamped giant industrial space to be rediscovered in Milan by the fashion industry.
This collection’s flowing shapes, pristine fabrics and graceful silhouettes all combined in a moment of charm and refinement: a show where the entire cast of 54 marched around two lines of classic wooden office chairs before each took a seat.
“What’s important to us is movement. To display the clothes’ lightness and sensuality when they walked,” said Lucie in the backstage.
“Even winter wools can feel supple,” added husband Luke.
Everything, including a simple one-button blazer and a side-split chenille wool skirt, looked refreshed. Though the key element was a series of capes – from a cashmere mohair version over a ribbed column, to a beautiful ecru Reverend Mother dress in taffeta, finished with a mantle.
“For us it is not about minimalism, more about the approach. It has to be right in the zeitgeist. We really wanted to keep the models in the room, so people could spend more time with them. Besides, sitting down is part of life,” argued Lucie.
Adding to that sense of seeing the clothes differently, the backstage look board showing each passage also featured the back of each model. Practically unheard of in most backstages. “Why not? It’s important!” insisted Luke.
A former electricity generating plant, located on Via Bramante, the massive all-white space chosen for the show was the ideal setting for this Fall 2020 collection. Named after Donato Bramante, one of the greatest architects of the High Renaissance, who created the original concept for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, today the street on which the plant stands is lined with discount Chinese clothes stores. However, this collection would surely have pleased Donato, with his love of perspective and harmonious lines.
“The original plant has been drastically renovated and will eventually become a design museum. So we just kind of snuck in in the middle,” laughed Luke, summing up the optimistic mood of the show.
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