A skater kid grows up, retires his board and becomes an important scientist — while still hanging on to his cool factor. That fantasy storyline sprang to mind watching Jil Sander’s intriguing spring collection, which married streetwear’s generous shapes and searing colors to clinical tailoring.
The German designer opened her show, accompanied by plaintive tracks from Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Somerville, with crisp jackets and trim coats in a soft shade of cream. Boxy and lean tailoring shared the rectangular runway, an X in the middle like a ballot box.
The neon colors snuck up quickly, first in glimpses of knits under jackets, then dabbed on the cuffs and hems of loose white blousons, then coating, as if spray-painted, entire tailored ensembles. They looked best when used sparingly, edging the inside-out seams of black blazers and trousers.
Sculpted and glossy leathers and papery lab coats heightened the collection’s futuristic gloss, while scribble prints and oversized T-shirts carried the torch for the half-pipe crowd. Failed experiments included the head-to-toe patterns and the pleated Bermuda shorts, cartoonish in their oversized proportions.
Only three seasons back at the label that bears her name, Sander has to be admired for her daring with this punchy, hyper modern and youthful offering.