Jil Sander Fall 2012 Review

Jil Sander Fall 2012

Photo: Imaxtree

Jil Sander Fall 2012

SHOW: Jil Sander (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKEUP: Peter Philips

ACCESSORIES: Strapped and laced high-heeled shoes in a patchwork of colors and textures, leather frame handbags and clutches in a rainbow of leathers

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Raf bids farewell to Jil: the end of a fashion love-story.

Dressing a woman for her daily life. What could possibly be radical in that? In the hands of Raf Simons at Jil Sander, quite a lot, especially when it became his final statement for the house which has sketched a grand arc of a learning-curve for this menswear master, who now consummately knows how to dress a woman's body.

Those expecting an all-black send off like Simons' fetishistic (and, in retrospect, funereal) Fall menswear outing for Sander were in for a surprise, albeit not an unpleasant one. Simons returned to the couture silhouettes and subtle but striking use of color that so marked his last three womenswear collections to reiterate his vision for the Sander woman. Actually, it felt like a vision for the Simons woman, whatever label she may wind up wearing: color suffused shades of watermelon, tangerine and lemon, contrasting textures of matte and shiny, tucked and darted bodices contesting with grand curves of opera coats, all marked by a weightless and effortless quality that made them as desirable as they were visually delectable.

As the theme suggested, Simons offered his woman clothes for every step of her day, waking up in wrap-around dusters with the ease of a robe, trotting through lingerie-detailed day dresses to evening glamour, strapless in glossy black, a contrast to the subtle sherbet shades that otherwise abounded.

Ultimately, however, this show wouldn't be about the new that Simons offered, but about the path he has trod over the past seven years, forging a new womenswear aesthetic for himself and something that feels fresh and relevant for the times. The interesting thing now will be to see where Raf riffs next.