To say that Raf Simon’s creations for Jil Sander are minimal is to tell half the story. It is true that the Simons aesthetic leans towards an unadorned and often spartan representation of glamour but the level of detail and drama within his work is anything but nominal. The clothes aren’t minimal as much as they are disciplined – each stitch is a deliberate act. For Jil Sander’s Spring/Summer presentation Simons took the road less traveled – askewing the frothy pastels he played with this time last year for sheer layered neutrals – cream, beige brown and plenty of black.
Black for spring isn’t a new idea but the way in which Simon’s plays with transperancy is novel. The long layered fringe that covers several of the pieces is a love it or hate it addition but it’s different than anything he’s done for the line before. Whether it’s dangling from minidresses or adding modesty to sheer body suits, fringe is a recurring motif. This covert means of exposing flesh lends a certain naughtiness to an already unexpectedly sexy collection. This is Sander at it’s most body conscious – one should not even attempt such form-fitting (and ultimately unforgiving) attire, without being prepared to add extra hours to their fitness regime.
While the fringe was new territory the remainder of the collection was either a lighter, looser variant on F/W 08’s best pieces or an elegant Sander basic. Repetition is not always a detriment but with a talent as prodigious as Simons at the helm there is no need for it. As polarizing as reactions to the more unorthodox pieces will be the addition of the “normal” into the collection dilutes the effect.The singular expressive Sander look of the season remains undefined and yet there has been growth. Change came but it was not as sweeping as expected.