Jil Sander Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Milan

Calling a Jil Sander show a study in pure and composed minimalism sounds almost redundant at this point. She is the high priestess of this particular point of view.

So when the first thick felted navy coat hit the catwalk, wrapped across the body and held firm to the waist by a matching wide velvet belt, it acted like a soothing balm on an audience more accustomed to being yanked in different directions each season by designers trying to continuously keep up with the latest trends. This isn’t to say that Sander didn't bring something new to the table. She most definitely did, but it was harmoniously folded into the world the designer knows so well.

The graceful simplicity of her designs were updated this season by the way Sander constructed her creations with an architectural flare.  A straightforward gray sleeveless tunic top looked to be cut from two pieces of fabric that met in the middle with a raised seam running down the center in both the front and back to create a graphic effect. What appeared to be a classic looking circle skirt from the front would show curving seams at the back that would cause the fabric to, ever so slightly, cup the derriere. As for outerwear the three-quarter-length coats in shades of orange sherbet, navy and deep blue, were designed to finish with an off-center invisible closing at the front, wrapping the body in warmth. And let’s not forget the practical thick heeled shoes in the show that had linear sections sliced out of sides like an abstract take on a bar code.

The only nod to embellishments came right at the end of the show. A band of gold leaf would transverse the chest of a knit sweater just below the shoulders and finish off at the edge of one sleeve, peek out on the hem of a wrap skirt or line the top of a sleeveless dress. It was just the right sort of ornamentation for a show that was quietly seductive.

- Jessica Michault

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