Soft Elegance. Jil Sander AW22

In a season when designers are desperately targeting Gen-Z, Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier made clothes for grown-ups. That kind of commitment breeds loyalty in women of a certain demographic and income bracket who feel left out of the fashion conversation (and still love Old Céline). “We were thinking about elegance,” Lucie said backstage. “We really wanted to focus on sculptural tailoring, almost couture-like, but we like this new energy, a very cropped silhouette.” The Jil Sander woman is wearing a wool skirt suit, its jacket sculpted with an hourglass volume and the skirt just peeking out from beneath its hem, or a slightly longer, flippier skirt with a cape-like jacket. Completing the silhouette are Chelsea boots with gold hardware, flat and sturdy. Dresses with the same above-the-knee proportion and flat bows at the shoulders and waist called to mind Pierre Cardin, whose death in late 2020 has precipitated new interest in his brand of 1960s minimalism. There were longer, softer lengths as well, including on a group of black dresses whose special details – a deep-v neckline, say, or voluminous bell sleeves – gave them a lot of cost-per-wear value. The Meiers have made handcrafts (like macramé and crochet) an essential part of their Jil Sander aesthetic. This season they pared that back, featuring only one print of astrological signs on drapey stretch jersey or quilted satin, choosing three-dimensional fabrics with surface appeal, like the bouclé on a pair of short dresses and the finer gauge knit of a long dress with fuzzy mohair sleeves. The exception was the guipure lace they used for a trio of long dresses, including one in a sensational shade of marigold. The white and black versions were shown with tailored single-breasted jackets, which is indeed a very elegant, very grown-up way to approach black-tie.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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