Jil Sander balances yin and yang
The Jil Sander show provided a beautiful conclusion to the first day of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday night. The brand presented its Spring/Summer 2020 collection under the stars, in the courtyard of the Palazzo Brera, which houses the famous Pinacoteca di Brera.
The courtyard of this baroque palace was covered with white gravel, which was gathered, here and there, into mounds of varying sizes, like mountains of salt. As they glided through the arcades that enclosed the open-air space, the models seemed to move like Chinese shadow puppets in an oriental decor that put one in mind of both a lunar landscape and a Japanese garden.
These surroundings set the tone for a sophisticated collection that exuded soothing minimalism. The color palette was dominated by the interplay of black and white, punctuated now and then by a selection of pieces in earthy shades. Inspired by the ideal harmony of Chinese's philosophy's yin and yang, the whole collection revolved around a game of contrasts: light and dark, flowing and rigid, smooth and textured, empty and full.
Walking down the runway in flat-soled sandals, the models sported leggings so tight it looked like they'd never again be able to wriggle their way out of them, over which they layered trousers, tunics and other dresses. Pleated dresses were worn long and chaste, as were skirts and white tunics that reached down as far as the models' feet, lending the whole look a soupçon of the Indian guru.
Creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier sometimes lost themselves in overly conceptual experimentation, caught up in their quest for original details. Such was the case with the collars and hems made of stiff paper lace and the long raffia fringes that cropped up throughout the collection, neither of which appeared to be particularly practical, or well thought out, not to mention the breastplate-like macramé collars, which flowed into fringed maxi-dresses.
Nonetheless, the collection maintained a certain delicate poetry, manifest in the embroidered swallows taking flight on the top of a pale silk tunic, or in the fish and waves that looked to have been sketched onto a flowing, white silk-crepe dress in India ink.
This season the designers also continued to develop the brand's accessories line, which accounts for an increasingly important chunk of Jil Sander's sales, sending out a series of lilliputian handbags.
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