Jil Sander was an early advocate of the hyper-focused fashion show,given to delivering a singular message with acute precision. Shesometimes did so via two or three subtexts, with their connection alwaysclear. Such was the case with her fall collection last season, a gem ofa dissertation on discreetly presented architectural cuts.

Forspring Sander took a different approach. Yes, the serenity, the calm,the poise were all in place. But beyond those most basic elements of heraesthetic, her message was less linear; “the powerful beauty of randomassemblage,” she wrote in her program notes. Backstage, she spoke lesspoetically: “It’s a modern woman, and we’ve gone a little bit eclectic,”she said.

Sander started with an alluring take on mannishtailoring — a black jacket cropped to expose the midriff above beltedwhite pants. In short order came dresses, always elegant, but with arange from demure (white raffia jacquard) to racy (a black dress withneckline slashed to the waist). There were luxe coats and jackets inpale pink and yellow, some man-tailored in front with flyaway volume inback. A pair of gorgeous graphic sweaters over long skirts were artfulin their subtlety, while a group of looks printed with Alighiero Boettireproductions held hidden imagery awaiting discovery up close. There waseven a feathered moment in black and white.

Everything was cutwith typical Sander-esque precision, and if a piece or two turnedcumbersome in their geometry, most radiated chic. But Sander’s phrase“random assemblage” proved apt. Her numerous beautiful parts didn’tcoalesce into the kind of clear, powerful statement that has alwayscharacterized her best collections.

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