Jil Sander Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Milan
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Mrs. Clean, AKA Jil Sander, kept her menswear show crisp and collected this season. At least when it came to her chosen silhouettes  - like A-line coats, rectangular jackets and boxy tops. It was a direction that made for an interesting exploration of how the juxtaposing of different proportions would advance the pursuit of creating an original menswear shape for today’s man.

Much will be made of Sander’s choice to include extra wide, pleat front knee length cuffed shorts that could almost be mistaken for kilt-like skirts from a distance. I for one liked them, and while they might not be the right choice for showing off a sculpted derrière, they could make for a very cool (both figuratively and literally) alternative to trousers next summer.

The other big message of the show was the injection of dayglow into the designs. Its a trend that has been going strong for a few seasons now. But Sander made it her own by using the searing shades on textural jacquards, or more subtly as the outline to seams on “inside out” jackets and pants. A pair of three-dimensional grid patterned lightweight knit sweaters were a striking sartorial avenue that left the audience wishing the designer had developed the idea further.

As has become almost a tradition at Sander, the accessories were real winners, particularly the shiny black shoes that faded into white at the toes or came with contrasting white stitching along the soles. Also memorable were the tab, snap close, jersey cardigans that gave a slightly clinical dimension to the sober suit jackets they were paired with.

The overall result was a show that pushed Sander’s familiar staples forward just far enough to make this collection feel like a rich new chapter in the “Never Ending Story” that is this designer’s narrative.

-  Jessica Michault

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