Hard edges, searing color, glossy surfaces and graphic prints are the usual signposts of modernity. For her second men’s show since returning to her namesake brand, Jil Sander proved that putting a soft focus on fabric, pattern and tailoring can be just as forward-looking. Kicking off Milan Fashion Week on a high note, her fall collection was youthful, masculine and directional.
Stovepipe pants anchored Sander’s handsome parade of short, boxy sports jackets and tubular — or gently flaring — coats with raised waists. Formal outerwear was strong, military shapes and details etched lightly on light-absorbing felt. In a sportier vein were trapeze styles in spongy corduroy with oversize, slanted patch pockets.
Rich colors like berry red or pine green kept things interesting, often worn head to toe. Even pin-striped suits came with matching T-shirts underneath.
Aside from the sleeveless looks and oversize collars that jazzed up the runway, everything was toned down to the right degree. Chalk stripes and windowpane checks blurred into gray flannel, and stripes — crisscrossed like klieg lights — were embedded on the front of cashmere sweaters. Looks like Sander has a blockbuster on her hands.