Men’s – Familial Affection. Jil Sander AW21

Lucie and Luke Meiers‘ soft minimalism also applies to their menswear collections at Jil Sander. This time, however, the designers seem to be a bit more serious than usual. Between their enveloping wool coats, elongated tailoring, roomy knitwear, fluid overshirts and comforting knitted collars, a more abstract interpretation of our wardrobe mindset than mere ‘comfort-wear’ took shape. Clinical wellies in dusty tonal colors evoked those worn with quarantine suits in science fiction and leather sashes easily conjured visions of spaceship uniforms. Most expressive of the feeling were woven metal necklaces and breastplates, and primitive pendants that spelled out “Mother.” References aside, the pieces spelled out the emotions of solitude and loss of familial contact the designers perceived over the time. “The letter forms are very simple. It’s the feeling he could have just found the metal and made it himself. But it’s very close on his body,” Lucie said. Sewn onto coats and knitwear were panels of frayed canvas printed with photographic portraits of flamboyant young female art students at the Bauhaus shot by Florence Henri in the 1920s. Worn by the un-eccentric young men that made up the cast, the effect wasn’t camp but very human; the male idea, perhaps, of missing a formidable female family member or friend. “It’s a show of familial affection,” Luke noted. The Meiers’ earnest design practice can feel stark or cold, but between its muted colors and themes of loneliness and longing there was an expressed emotional core to this collection that gave it warmth. “There’s a certain personal approach here. I try most of the things on, and I wear most of the pieces,” Luke said.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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