Switch It Up. Jil Sander AW23

Five years since their appointment as creative directors of Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Meier decided to switch it up. In their autumn-winter 2023 collection, you won’t find their signature soft minimalism and a regular palette of neutrals, pastels and creams. The first look – a leather motorcycle jacket – was a clear sign something’s different this season. “We kind of looked back at our formative years, the ’90s and 2000s,” said Lucie. “We were thinking about how the outlook was so positive and exciting, thinking about technology coming into our lives. Now the positivity about the future is more difficult to hold up.” Luke interjected: “It’s always a bit rose-tinted, the past, but the one resounding element here was that there was this openness to kind of cross contaminate things.” The original Jil Sander wouldn’t recognize much of the tailoring, but in a season of samey pantsuits, the Meiers’ streamlined, zip-front jackets and expandable trousers were a fresh take. Strangely, some of the looks had more to do with Consuelo Castiglioni’s (Marni’s founder) quirky sensibility than with the German designer’s impact. Bjork’s love song “All Neon Like” soundtracked the show, and her eccentricities sparked some of the ideas here, like the pretty degradé floral print dresses that were paired with nubby-soled sneaker boots. It was good to see he Meiers exercising their individuality, whether that was in the form of an airy, generously cut parachute dress embellished with crushed metal flowers or tunics and tees digitally printed and jacquarded with fruits and bonbons. Still, the overall effect felt try-hard and too inconsistent.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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