February 23, 2013 Milan
Diamonds, fur, gold…emblems of luxury. Maybe more. "You buy gold when you don't trust the future," Sander said backstage. "But we're optimists. We want to believe." One thing that was quite clear here was Sander's conviction that she still has plenty to say in fashion. Yet she speaks almost too quietly.
The serenity of today's presentation was unimpeachable. There was a particular skirt proportion, flaring just below the knee, that was convincingly, timelessly elegant. Jackets were elongated, slightly suppressed at the waist. Coats were mannish, reassuringly oversize. Buckled shoes with a big heel had a solid Puritan quality. All of that added up to an eminently sensible antidote to whatever is happening anywhere else in fashion.
Such is the nature of this business that you often don't know what you want till you've seen what you don't want. Jil Sander's show offered elegance, restraint, sobriety in such crisp, clearly defined terms that it could almost function as a manifesto for whatever comes next. Still, you craved the tweak. Maybe it was there in that flash of fur or splash of gold. What joy it would be if this were the start of an unexpected wingy-ness in a designer who truly has nothing left to lose in exploring the deep-rooted whys of what she does.