The creative dynamic Luke and Lucie Meier have brought to Jil Sander isn’t just a reflection of the two of them sharing art and life, but also an echo of the big-picture conversation about the redefinition of identities around the intersection of masculine and feminine codes. “In our designs there’s always this tension between the masculine and the feminine,” they mused in their studio in Milan. “It’s always there in some form or another.” The husband and wife pair complement each other with the same easy flair that they give their experiments between rigor and plasticity, severity and fluidity. They describe their process as an exercise in “searching and finding that right pull, whether it’s an artisanal gesture breaking something very strict, or something soft being broken by something very rigid and structured. That play is always there.” For resort their search for a point of symmetric repose between opposites played out in what they called “deflating couture,” a turn of phrase defining sculptural, elegant volumes “collapsing” into softer, gentler, fluid shapes. Seen through this lens, their suiting consisted of sharp-cut, narrow-shouldered, and fitted jackets worn over ultra-voluminous trousers, almost like next-generation palazzo pants. The sartorial is a territory the Meiers navigate skillfully, favoring extreme precision in cutting and construction as well as a romantic feel for the handcrafted; a case in point was a sharp-structured, overcoat in a pale mauve, without lapels, fastened with a single hand-blown glass jewel button, and worn over a black tunic with a feminine ruffled collar. The play between fluidity and structure gave the collection character and appeal, and was consistent throughout. An elongated dress of voluminous couture construction was made in delicate white cotton voile, a rather humble material; straight-cut tunics and tops with plunging necklines were given a transformable twist with the addition of turtlenecks or t-shirts in contrasting colors worn underneath. The season’s version of the tuxedo had a similar versatile approach; it was proposed as a fluid combination of a pleated-bib black chemise and a pair of billowy, liquid trousers. You cannot take the sense of rigorous chic out of the Meiers.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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