Jil Sander Fall 2011: Fashion Dissection
Raf Simons, having taking the helm of Jil Sander with some fanfare since summer 2005, has been gradually growing the Prada-owned line into a directional powerhouse. Known for his menswear previously, it was a bold choice for the helm of a much respected house, but Simons has not only proved himself able but also influential. The Belgian was at least partly responsible for the spectacular Spring/Summer 2011 color trend; the Jil Sander collection was exuberantly colorblocked.
For Fall 2011, Simons again showcased a refined feel for ”what women want.” Here are some takeaways from the superb collection:
Jil Sander Fall 2011 runway look
Prints have become a focal point for many up and coming designers (e.g. Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou and more) and Simons gave the autumn print a fresh kick with a dark background and moody floral foreground. The color palette is something like paintings of the Dutch and Flemish masters.
While most designers agreed on a more demure hemline, many took the 1950s ladylike trend quite literally. (Think Bottega Veneta’s accompanying Mad Men bouffants and feminine twin-sets.) But at Jil Sander, the below-the-knee cuts were prim but balanced by modern tweaks such as relaxed slouchy neck or a slight twist in the fabric to create a touch of draping.
The New Ski Sweater
With fall and winter on it’s way, Simons smartly referenced Europe’s ski culture. Knits had a vintage Alps feel but was freshened up in dazzling mint green, bright orange and deep fuchsias. Many of sweaters featured hoods with zig zag patterns such as this one from Jil Sander’s Fall 2011 campaign which was art directed by Simons and shot by Willy Vanderperre. Saks has a great selection of the ski-influenced styles.
Just as sweaters fit close to the body, when it came to outerwear, the designer played with couture proportions. Coats featured rounded shoulders, an oversize shape and three-quarter sleeves.
Amongst other collection signatures, Simons has built a visual vocabulary based on color-blocking. For Fall, his colors were grounded with neutrals such as charcoal and heather gray with splashes of orange or navy.
Jil Sander isn’t the only house that offers this utilitarian style, but it is one of the best at balancing function with a designer touch This Fall style (above) has a perfect sleek toe and a light dabbling of hardware only minimally disturbs the brand’s signature clean lines.
All Jil Sander runway images courtesy of Jil Sander
By: Bee-Shyuan Chang