Appointed earlier this year as co-creative directors, husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier have infused the Milan-based label with a fresh perspective starting with the Jil Sander Pre-Fall 2018 collection.
“We were thinking about the future: where humanity is kind of going, where the planet is going. There are lots of heavy things going on, so negative,” reflected Luke during a Pre-Fall appointment in the Milan showroom. “We were trying to be positive, though, not giving in to the doom and gloom of this quite dark period. Sometimes, we even think that it’d be great to publish a newspaper which only reports about good news! A sort of an antidote to all the bad which is happening around us.” Lucie chimed in: ”We wanted softness, no hard edges, garments hugging the body in a gentle way; something emotional, soulful, comforting. Cocooning, as if the garment and the body became one. The idea of wrapping, with a cozy cardigan feel. Protection and airiness.”
Tailoring is one of the house’s foundations, its precision and sharpness being paramount for the label’s trademark silhouette, radical and advanced, yet stylish. The designers tapped into this progressive and rigorous aesthetic, yet they considerably smoothed shapes and volumes, giving roundness and softness a pride of place in the collection. To achieve a feel of controlled comfort and ease, dry menswear fabrics were made stretchy and malleable; silhouettes were elongated as if extended at the extremes: very high necklines, extra-long trousers. Tailoring techniques included wrapping, twisting, and playing with asymmetries and askew, angular cuttings. Soft, undulating effects graced the fastenings of jackets cut close to the body, creating geometric lateral ripples; classic white shirts in crisp poplin boasted diagonal, wavy double volants on one side, which could be buttoned according to the wearer’s whim. “It’s a way of breaking the sharpness; a play on asymmetry makes things more alive with movement, it’s feminine but still controlled,” explained Lucie.
High, pointy collars put a sculptural focus on the neckline; movable and adjustable corsets were padded and bendable, adding to the sense of protection. This flair for graceful, feminine armor was highlighted by unexpected bursts of bright color for skirts and tops in floral jacquards, which nicely contrasted with severe shades of ink black, deep navy blue, off-white, and camel: ”Color is like a surprise,” mused Lucie. ”Something which feels very hopeful.”