Writer for Bite Magazine, Senior Men's Fashion Editor at The WALK
A collection of interesting images, writings, and other media on fashion and culture.
Jil Sander Menswear Spring 2013
Jil Sander’s return to her namesake label has sparked a lot of buzz. All of it has formed a swirling miasma of gossip and rumor: we’ve been wondering what Jil Sander has been doing and still coping with the guillotine-like dismissal of Raf Simons. Cutting through the fog upon the minimalist house, however, was Jil Sander’s recent menswear collection of clarity and decisiveness.
Sander was direct in her intent from the first look of her late June collection at Milan’s Castello Sforzesco. The fitted vest and narrow double-breasted detail shown as an opener set the mood without hesitation. Onlookers soon knew that they were looking at Sander’s attempt to re-brand her line with her new look: tailoring. Where Simons kept jacket hems around the hips, Jil Sander chose to take them far further. Almost none of Sander’s Edwardian-style coats rested at the brand’s traditional hip length, with some descending well past the knee.
Dropped hemlines were only one insignia of many that bore Sander’s touch throughout this collection. Indeed, if she intended these touches to mark her return with subtle power, she succeeded. In a time when designers have chosen to change company names to make their mark, Jil Sander’s quiet return echoes the ethos of the company she founded in her former Antwerp home: aesthetically-profound minimalism that doesn’t say as much as it means.
The consistent rigidity of the pieces may provide a new direction for the brand. Even the shorts featured throughout—which are best described as boyish and baggy and elongated—spoke to a sense of uniformity with their strict creases and evocations of strictly controlled Catholic school élèves. Where Raf Simons often worked with a sense of modern youth, Jil Sander seems to have ushered in a sense of traditionalism, an interesting concept for a label whose celebrity was born of its founder’s modernity. Rest assured: the designer hasn’t completely turned the dial. Sander’s new sense of the old is more about an interplay than a revolution, best indicated by the tame yet graphic cardigans. They were classic, enough; they were also Raf Simons, enough. There is a balance to this collection that confers upon it a sense of vision and clarity, and that makes its designer even more welcome.