Beautiful And Practical. Jil Sander Pre-Fall 2021

Lucie and Luke Meier‘s Jil Sander always feels like blank canvas, in a good way. No non-sense references, just delightful, soft minimalism that will never be “out”. And, you will love it even while staying at home. “Fashion is always a commentary,” reflected Luke. “It’s actually a very reactionary phenomenon, in that it reacts towards the zeitgeist, the moods and emotions of people or else towards a certain music or artist. So it’s only right that now you feel that need for ease in collections. What’s happening, it’s just impossible to ignore no matter how much designers are prone to live in a sort of creative bubble.” Lucie chimed in during a Zoom call with Vogue from the Jil Sander showroom: “This is presently the world we have to face, so we felt that in our work, it is really important that we’re not totally in dreamland. Our reality dictates today a different approach, whereas in other moments as a designer, you gravitate more towards a different set of references and inspirations. But we really felt that this is now and you just can’t ignore the different way we’re interacting together.” Having quarantined in their apartment in Milan, the Meiers wanted the collection to convey a more homey feel, albeit rendered with their exacting sophistication. To further channel the message, the look book was shot in an apartment, a modernist space mirroring the polished minimalism they favor (this part felt quite Bottega-Veneta-ish). Sensitive to the mood-lifting role fashion has to play now, they introduced a touch of spirited softness, a sort of feel-good factor which complemented the collection’s yin-yang dynamic between the ease of sporty practicality and the elegance of their chic, angular tailoring. Case in point: slightly oversized masculine blazers, whose straight-cut precision was contrasted by the delicately embroidered circle skirts and slender yet luscious dresses they were worn with. This year’s ubiquitous track pants were elevated in soft Nappa leather and worn under a collarless, sharp-cut jacket. It made for a cool silhouette, a kind of of-the-moment alternative to the classic tailored pantsuit. The intimacy, warmth, and protection we’re all craving inspired a series of great knitted pieces. An oversized wool-silk sweater was wrapped with a huge matching scarf, while a form-fitting, sporty ribbed dress opened to reveal soft cashmere leggings underneath, its exaggerated collar becoming an enveloping cape when unzipped. Artsy Bauhaus-inspired jewelry, including golden ribbon-shaped portrait necklaces and sculptural bracelets, added a dash of vibrance, while oversized bags in luxurious, supple leathers looked comforting and pillowy in a tactile, playful way. “Let’s be realistic—fashion isn’t going to cure the problems we’re in today,” the Meiers concluded. “But if putting on something beautiful elevates our mood a little, if we can provide something that’s inspiring as much as it’s practically useful, that’s then us doing a good job.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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