Retro Modernism at Jil Sander

Retro Modernism at Jil Sander

Jil Sander, SS12, Milan.

There is a discipline that has crept into the most influential womenswear collections over the last couple of seasons that breathes of minimal, understated elegance and is built on a foundation of retro silhouettes.

Raf Simons, in his collections at Jil Sander, has been instrumental in experimenting with what will work for intellectual women today, in mining the old dress codes and finding out what can still be relevant and cool when given just the right sense of proportion, texture and colour.

In terms of construction, dress making staples such as darts have been used to great effect to help narrow the line of waists or create subtle shaping in rigid cottons. In general for this Spring-Summer 2012 collection, the sheerness of white fabric has been embraced and used as a subtle tool for detailing. This can bee seen through the classic collar shapes that are echoed in specially cut facings or in the double layers of white used to add a different dynamic to shirtdresses by blocking out more opaque areas.

The idea of transparency continued later on in the collection through the use of coloured checks on organza, that were used both with and without a white backing fabric often in modest, midi-length skirts and dresses.

The mood of modesty is a key marker that has carried through the recent collections of Jil Sander, Prada and Celine especially in terms of the staying power of the midi-length silhouette. It is the context that these designers have created for these collections that keeps them sensual and relevant – the colour combinations and textures used for these silhouettes are always slightly unexpected and off kilter and the accessories always fuse in unexpected references such as car interiors or woven cane furniture.

It really feels as though there is a definite effort to give a different slant to classic shapes that would otherwise be considered very elegant but perhaps overly conservative. It often seems as though designers such as Miuccia Prada, Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo are setting themselves challenges to work out what will give even the most austere collection or unlikely reference a new subversive, intellectual or playful element to create something new and unexpected. The challenge, it seems, is resulting in some of their strongest and most desirable work.

Images from Vogue.co.uk» Cane images from DecoratorSupplyInc»

Recent Articles

The Rule of Thirds Applied to JW Anderson | The Cutting Class. Design features in different ratios will change how the proportions of the garment are perceived. AW20.
19 Feb 2020
The Rule of Thirds Applied to JW Anderson
JW Anderson, London, AW20. It can be a fun game (depending on your idea of "fun", of course) to look at the proportions of the looks when you are clicking...
Integrated Jewellery and Lingerie Details at Dion Lee | The Cutting Class. AW20, New York.
14 Feb 2020
Integrated Jewellery and Lingerie Details at Dion Lee
Dion Lee, AW20, New York. With fishnet inserts, cutouts, and corset-like closures the Dion Lee show for Autumn-Winter 2020 was peppered with references to lingerie. Custom-made jewellery and hardware also...
Craig Green Quilted Jacket Details | The Cutting Class. Details on pink SS20 jacket.
06 Feb 2020
Craig Green Quilted Jacket Details
Craig Green Quilted Jacket, SS20. You have to wonder if there is a psychological advantage to wearing a Craig Green quilted jacket. The quilted sections are like soft armour plates...