JIL SANDER
COMING ON STRONG

Byline:

Shrinking violets don't interest Jil Sander. She makes clothes for women who are strong, confident and extremely well-heeled. In fact, just before her show Tuesday morning, Sander described her ideal client as "a global, multimedia woman who's bold in the everyday world."
The first thing that customer needs to run in her rarefied rat race is a great suit, and Sander's stark, austere style fits her perfectly. This season, Sander is proposing hyper-fitted jackets--lean enough to reveal any minor dining indulgence--over slim skirts or very long pants. These came in creamy cashmeres, light gray coat fabrics and dark wools. Sander got a little heavy with some bulky white tweeds that would add fifteen pounds to anyone, but they were a minor slip in an otherwise impressive lineup.
As usual, Sander's coats were a tailoring triumph, especially the drop-dead beige cashmere wrap that opened the show. There were also beautiful, close-to-the-body sweaters, some with sexy plunging necklines, and a smaller series of dresses, both tailored looks and curvy sheaths. For night, Sander likes it glitzy--or as glitzy as she can be. Her iridescent metallic pastel pantsuits had a richness that's difficult to deliver with so much shine. Less successful were the evening dresses, which lacked finesse and had too many un-Sanderesque tricks.

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