MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

Minimal frills, maximum impact

2024.02.25

Text by Francesca Fontanesi

The FW24 collection by Jil Sander is abundant in rounded silhouettes and soft lines, yet with character. The balance between form and comfort fills the enveloping coats and sartorial details: each piece reflects a constant pursuit of effortless sophistication.

Rounded silhouettes, double-faced constructions, and down-like paddings that evoke inflatable games from the Nineties. Outerwear is shaped from quilted fabrics, and for this FW24, Jil Sander’s tailoring knows no sharp edges: although the brand’s successful model has always been simple and essential, in this collection curves are everywhere – from the shoulders to the sleeves of the suits that open the show in a riot of red, green, and chocolate brown, to the cape-coats with very long hems. The first looks feature wide trousers and a tunic with button closure and fluttering sleeves accessorized with silver and shiny brown scarves, then shifting the focus onto the pins attached to the wide, flat lapels of the jackets, comfortably resting on the shoulders of those who wear them. A knitted pink dress takes on a cocoon structure and accompanies a pair of high-heeled red boots. Silver chain details decorate tailored trousers, and strapless dresses that reach the floor form curious V-shaped details on black tops. Rich textures recur, heightening a sense of warmth and envelopment together with diamond quilting, open-knit crochets in bouclé wool and mohair used for skirts and tops, and iconic knitted garments that can be turned inside out. The key to Lucie and Luke Meier’s work lies in the constant search for a balance between sensitivity and form, intimacy and presence, image and intention, concentration, and lightness: the collection is a multi-dimensional world that finds its shape within, and not beyond, appearances, an immersive, soft, and enveloping capsule composed of a refined palette of plum, cocoa, cerulean blue, vibrant red, pale pink, sky blue, pastel green, and pearl.

“We started approaching the collection with a feeling of sort of enrobing and enveloping the person. So that’s in the aesthetic and the material choices, the patternmaking, the shaping”.

– Luke Meier

Inner and outer life merge, and the precious details of the garments and the finishes inside the bracelets speak directly to the wearer, imparting character. The tailoring construction of the suits is soft yet perfectly balanced by sharp horizontal lines, as seen in the collars of the waistcoats under the jackets: each piece is, not by chance, finished with the precision typical of couture, with the meticulous and subtle skill of the artisans contributing to the creation of all the brand’s pieces. Simple only at first glance, dresses and knitted tops are intricately crafted and entirely woven horizontally. The woven knitwear is soft and completely covered by a thin, intangible net. Then comes a sculpted dress entirely fringed in metallic knit, demonstrating the brand’s high depth not only conceptual but also technical and design-wise. Everything seems effortlessly executed and gives the sight a tactile sensation akin to wearing simple yet precious things; made to last. The essential forms are meticulously crafted, and simplicity becomes complex. The long coats and leather or quilted tunics are soft and lengthy, as are the enveloping capes, dresses, and jackets, the delicate deer skins, and the Himalayan goat furs. There’s even a silk cape all fringed, followed by suits that stand out on slim trousers and explore the creative capabilities of minimalist modeling. They elevate everything to the highest possibilities of a design rooted in simple and geometric shapes; the collection is indeed primarily made of monochromes that accentuate the 3D effect of the interplay between volumes, bodies, and the space around them, but also of perfectly balanced contrasts. The garments come to life from the movement of the bodies and the precise choice of fabrics: cashmere, silk-changed velvets, and cotton, Italian and Japanese wools.

“We like this blurring of the silhouette, a softening of the lines”.

– Lucie Meier

Accessories include leaf-shaped brooches fixed to garments and matching earrings enlarged in their form to cover the entire ear, as if to convey a sense of protection from external distractions. The brass bracelets are smoothly and elegantly finished internally, and externally with a rougher texture. The most important side is against the body, somewhat concealed, so it’s a bit like saying you take care of yourself more than strangers, explains Luke Meier. The Cannolo Bag, always crafted following the season’s palette, remains among the cornerstones of recent collections, while the new Envelope and Rollup bags, made of deer leather, and the Coin Bag, clear in the simplicity of its shapes, together emphasize the softness and graphic lines of the collection. Unprecedented bag-vests are worn under jackets and coats. White, silver patent, red, natural leather color, dark brown, and black, some surrounded by clouds of fur, women’s low sandals, worn with socks, feature rounded shapes. The heels of the boots and pointed-toe booties have ingeniously carved and curved heels, anchoring the silhouettes firmly. Similarly, for men, monochromatic and sculptural boots, and long pointed shoes with rubber galvanized soles, provide the same firm anchor.

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