Raf Simons has a habit of setting the bar when it comes to referential minimalism. Each season he delves into new territory while working within the same strict set of constructs and each season he surprises us all with something fresh and innovative. Regardless of whether or not the end result palatable one has to respect Simons’ masterful approach to designing. His collections are cohesive and deceptively simple – precise cuts, muted colors and uniformity are constants. For Spring( Jil Sander Mens S/S 10 Slideshow) he delves into a look that is boldy optimistic and filled with a downright infectious sense of whimsy.
Eschewing severity – save the harsh Spock-esque bowl cuts on every model – Simons focused instead on transparency and lightness. The sheer dress shirts, the stark white or cool pastel suits – everything cool and crisp. Simons’ work for S/S 08 had a similar feel (and icy color palate) but this season he adds a touch of idiosyncratic flair via the hints of transparency and unique additions like clear glasses and gold tipped lapels. The shapes themselves flirted with oddity – most notably the flowing trenches and folded shorts, both of which seemed to float suggestively away from the body with each step the models took down the catwalk.
The defining pieces (and likely contenders for waiting list status) were the Tsuguharu Foujita printed shirts. For a collection that flirted with ideas of romance they were the ultimate expression of restrained eroticism. Foujita’s graceful prints of inquisitive face or downcast bodies paired with the gauzy material served to create something sensual yet minimal enough to be thoroughly Sander. From certain angles on the sheerer pieces the images look almost like tattoos peaking out from beneath clothes and what better way to incorporate prints than to connect them so seamlessly with the body itself? The idea seems like a no brainer but the execution is flawless.