Jil Sander Spring 2012 Review

Jil Sander 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Jil Sander collection.

Show: Jil Sander

Hair: Guido Paulo

Makeup: Peter Philips

Accessories: Metal-bound box-bags, block-heeled patent court shoes, veiled beanie hats, diamanté dress-clips

Overall takeaway: Clean, mean, contemporary couture.

Fifties haute couture has been the gist to Raf Simons's Jil Sander for two seasons now, and despite the forward-looking slant to his June menswear show, for Spring 2012 his women still filch their wardrobe from a mid-century rom-com. If in the past Simons's Sander has explored the challenges of voluminous tent-dresses à la Balenciaga, for spring the closest we got to abstraction were intarsia sweaters inspired by Picasso ceramics. This time Simons cut his dresses strict and lean against the body, in a bright palette of emerald, cobalt, a zingy neon paisley and lots of white.

The white shirt, indeed, was one of Simons's building-blocks, the perfect modern piece of clothing to base his Sander woman's wardrobe on. The opening numbers transmogrified it into something between a lab coat and a nurse's uniform, skin showing between slashes in semi-transparent cotton voile; he closed by extending it into a triptych of wedding dresses, strapless and mid calf, or tumbling to the floor and knotted at the waist with a bow.

If you thought that sounded like a resolutely traditional offering from fashion's king of Minimal Modernism, you'd be right. But there was a wholesomeness, an unchallenging simplicity and straightforwardness to what Simons offered. Women will fall over themselves to fall into these clothes. They may not represent a brave leap into the future, but they're a fine distillation of what women want from fashion right here, right now.