Jil Sander A/W ’12 Menswear review

by Katie on January 27, 2012

At the end of 2011 it was rumoured that Raf Simons is top of Bernard Arnault’s hit list for the role of creative director at Dior, the vacancy created following John Galliano’s tragic fall from grace earlier that year. Simons’ Autumn/Winter 2012 collection for Jil Sander underlines just how great an artist and designer he is – and just how wrong he would be for that position.

Simons’ isn’t one for extravagant flights of fancy involving acres of lace and tulle. A pragmatist, rather than a romanticist, Simons prefers to explore the darker recesses of fashion, where things aren’t what they first appear.

Take a pair of gloves, for instance. Jil Sander isn’t the first catwalk to show gloves this week, however in Simons’ hands this rather generic accessory becomes clinical and downright sinister. His slim tailoring seems to grip the body, and his leather trenchcoats designed to keep the wearer in, not the weather out.

Black leather, black nylon, black vinyl. All worn with severely pomaded hair. These are clothes for those iconic demons of The Me Decade; schizophrenic fashion obsessive Patrick Bateman, or the sadistic denizens of ‘Hellraiser’. This collection is the monster in the closet. Psycho killer – qu’est-ce que c’est?

Delve a little deeper. The only hints of colour are some handkerchiefs and knitwear featuring infantile drawings of dinosaurs, stereos, and whales. Another jumper features a similarly childlike jacquard relief of an anchor, and there are sailor collars on shirts. This exploration of the male psyche, the man versus the child, is what Simons, and also Miuccia Prada, do so well.

Raf Simons could probably fill the role at Dior, but it would be to fashion’s detriment. We need to start a petition now.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.

Catwalk imagery kindly supplied by www.style.com

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