A few designers this European men’s season have talked about the subway as a reference, primarily because of the breadth and variety of humanity, and personal expression, on display down there.
Luke and Lucie Meier did not mention the underground, but during a preview cited a wish to “celebrate the individual” with their fall collection for Jil Sander.
“You miss all the characters around you because we’ve been separated from each other,” Luke Meier said over Zoom, referring to all the curbs on social life amid waves of COVID-19 the past two years.
Elegance was the other word that came up repeatedly. “We feel it’s important that we present something that makes people feel good, that uplifts them,” Luke said, describing “masculine tailoring balanced with something a little bit more sensual.”
Around a circular set dominated by a giant glowing orb at the American Cathedral in Paris, the Jil Sander fall character is the kind of guy who wears his astrological sign embroidered on the sleeve of his woolen coat, or scrawled on his silk neckerchief, and tucks his dress pants into stiff ankle boots with a silver plaque in lieu of a spur.
The design duo seem keen on tempering the brand’s minimalist heritage with something warm and fuzzy — or vice versa — so they might toss a crocheted neckpiece over a severe, button-less jacket; temper the coziness of a fuzzy herringbone bathrobe coat with a sleek leather flap peeking out from underneath, or splash a mythological print over an otherwise austere topcoat or oversized sweater.
The clean, boxy tailoring stood out, especially when enlivened with the glossy, peak lapels of a tuxedo: sometimes in satin, sometimes in leather. We’re not dealing with a typical black-tie character here.