The reentry jitters, whatever they may have been, are now officially gone. As with her men’s show in January, on Saturday Jil Sander proved herself in stellar form. She sent out a collection as breathtaking as it was serene, one that presented feminine strength in the prettiest of its manifestations.
“High-carat femininity, graceful and incorruptible,” Sander wrote in her program notes. In life, beneath a dark felted coat can beat the heart of a floozy, but point well taken. Sartorially speaking, these clothes worked the good-girl side of the fashion tracks, cut as they were for both ease and ample coverage. They radiated a contagious calm; one relaxed while watching.
Yet there was nothing mundane or simple about this lineup. Minimalist yes, and gloriously so. But not simple. Sander has been credited (or accused, depending upon one’s mind-set) of trafficking in intellectual fashion. Here she invoked the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and the mathematical exploits of Mandelbrot — all those fractal configurations. High-minded indeed, but translated not at all ponderously. Rather, Sander employed cuts as details of the sort that transport plain to a higher plane of interest. These were as obvious as a tunic’s back closure opened into big triangular flaps and as discreet as a slightly off-kilter neckline. She finished one navy melton coat with a wide velvet belt and added single graphic bars of gold to otherwise austere black looks. Her fabrics were mostly structured, not severe — double-faced felts and leather for the outerwear; a slightly fuzzy plaid for a dress.
Perhaps most surprising was the ease Sander showed with color, whether putting a brown top over a navy skirt or amping up with orange-and-black combos. Gutsy, perhaps — if a look can be at once gutsy and graceful.