Jil Sander Fall 2011 Review

Jil Sander Fall 2011 collection

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Jil Sander Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Jil Sander (See the full runway collection.)
HAIR: Paul Hanlon
MAKEUP: Peter Philips
ACCESSORIES: Bags and shoes inspired by modernist designer Jacques Adnet; chunky purses and wedge shoes with special slots for stirrup trousers
OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Louise Dahl-Wolfe gets frisky on and off the piste

After last season’s stellar outing, it was natural that Jil Sander designer Raf Simons would stick to the inspirational stomping ground that gave us his best women’s collection to date. Therefore, for Fall 2011, Raf riffed more on the mid-century couture vibe of last season’s eye-socking neon offering—and although the overall feel may have ended up in a very different place, it was no less stunning.

Photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe was the heroine of Simons’s latest vision, her imagery suggesting a new “dynamic tailoring” for the house. That feels like one of those odd terms fashion throws out every now and again but this time it felt entirely justified.

There was something undeniably dynamic about the streamlined tailoring at Jil Sander, a relentlessly modern take on the bell-backed Balenciaga sack shapes of the ’50s and ’60s. Beneath full jackets, Simons strapped his girls into taut stirrup pants or streamlined their torsos in body-con après-ski knitwear. It looked like 1950s Vogue goes to 2050s Venus—and you can imagine how fabulous that fusion is.

The wonderful part was how Simons managed to engineer these shapes to a modern client. There may have been shades of the arch ’50s grandeur of Cristóbal but it was created with the resolutely contemporary aesthetic that has always marked both Sander’s and Simons’s work.

Even when an onslaught of crazy chintzes careened out toward the end, they seemed a perfectly logical progression of the Sander look. And highly desirable, to boot.