A master of progression, Raf Simons takes the Jil Sander man on a journey from spring’s colorful bursts of color and narrow proportions to boxy shapes and darkness. Throwing in a subtle shift of texture and oversize pocket details, Simons’ knack for refined but simple tailoring gets a powerful kick of subdued quirk for a collection that is undeniably Jil Sander.
Tim Blanks review
Raf Simons claimed he wanted to go back to the roots of Jil Sander's menswear for Fall. He was thinking about the reduction, the purity, the very specific fabrics, and even the Amish influence on those early days. But ultimately, it was his own take on the elements that constitute "Jil Sander" that determined the nature of the collection.
Intriguingly, Simons designed without a single piece of clothing from the archive in his studio, which is probably why the most immediate cross-reference was his own Spring womenswear for Jil. For his women's show, he talked about "a mille-feuille of color." Here, it was subtly adapted, particularly in the doubled turtlenecks. Pink lined a parka hood, yellow shone from under a swirling charcoal coat. The experimental volumes of the women's clothes were toned down but still implied, for instance, in the caped back of a blouson. And the chunky parkas that cut such a dash last season made a welcome reappearance. So that was the Raf-ness of the show.
The Jil-ness came through in the plain, felted square-cut suits—three buttons, high closing. They were paired with similarly shaded tops and, even when colored broom yellow or cyclamen, they had a distinctly sober air. Simons elaborated on the sobriety by using the quilting of the Amish as the signature detail for jackets, pants, and tops. On the other hand, he injected an ironic note by duplicating the nobility of the handcrafted Amish tradition with the most advanced fabric technology. That's where Raf-ness and Jil-ness reunited—and it felt so good.