Raf Simons is just on another level. After todays show and if you like what he does at Jil Sander – the glacial Hitchcock heroine, the hypnotising obsession with clean lines, the seductive references to art – you’d have been thrilled by the purity of his vision with this collection, I certainly was. Like the collections of Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci or younger designers like Mary Katrantzou or Christopher Kane, this wasn’t just a collection of clothes but a whole vibe, a feeling, something not just to buy but to buy into, follow and enjoy.
Walking a catwalk shaped and coloured like artist Piet Mondrian’s Composition series, eight neatly bobbed models wearing entirely white outfits opened the show. The semi-sheer quality of light cotton was utilised to show off layers of material that were peiced or darted together in a surgical, graphic style. It was white upon white….upon white to the soundtrack of ‘La Femme Coupee En Morceaux’ (The Woman Cut Into Pieces) by Michel Legrand which was a cute joke considering the clothes look like they were made in a laboratory.
The neon paisley print suits, the jumpers with Picasso references elegantly swooshed across the chest, the maxi-mesh dresses and the button down shirt dresses were all sublime as were the accessories: the space-age boots, the minimal hand-bags, the netted ski hats and artfully plain stilettoes. For the finale Simons sent four entirely white maxi dresses down the runway. The first, a strapless Grace Kelly number that was full bodied and fell to just above the ankle looked so classy because the folds seemed planned yet effortless. The next three dresses were prim shirts on the top half and the Simons full bodied, floor length skirt on the bottom. While its clear that the designer is Raf Simons, the Jil Sander brand always had designs were precise and clean, it’s fantastic to see this legacy being taken successfully on into the new century. If only there were a one-off perfume to accompany this collection, I’d be very interested in smelling that.
La Femme Coupee En Morceaux by Michel Legrand
Love On The Beat by Serge Gainsbourg
Surfboard by Juan-Garcia Esquivel
Candy Shop by 50 Cent featuring Olivia
(words: Sarah Hay)