Jil Sander Womenswear A/W12

Raf Simons says arrivederci to Jil Sander with a fitting collection, culminating his tenure at the house

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Seven pillars of exquisite bouquets encased in perspex were dotted around the runway and in the opening entrance, each one representing a year that Raf Simons has been creative director at Jil Sander. The announcement that Simons would be leaving the house (to where, we don’t know yet) was not a surprising one but the shock of there not being another Simons-designed Jil Sander collection was definitely still reeling in the room. It was both mournful and celebratory as although we bid farewell to Simons at Jil Sander, we happily await his presence, wherever he chooses to go. In all honesty, whatever he showed would have been well received but that he produced his most feminine and poetic collection to date as his final swansong was entirely appropriate for the occasion.

The soundtrack only made the show more emotive as Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You' segued into Sonic Youth’s cover of The Carpenters and ended with Simons’ Smashing Pumpkins favourite, 'Tonight, Tonight'

In defiance to what’s going on in other Autumn/Winter shows, he chose to go with delicate pastel shades of candy pink, soft nude and light grey that sat perfectly with the double faced voluminous coats that the models touchingly clutched to their chests as if they were security blankets of sorts. The exploration of mid-twentieth century couture of the last three Jil Sander collections still lingered on but became a muted background note as Simons worked a modern asymmetry with innovative fabric pairings and origami-esque volumes that jutted out in place of the traditional peplum or bustle. Lingerie-inspired bodice tops with knitted sleeves and dainty camisole dresses may have referenced the corseted tops of the 50s paired with flared out skirts but their construction was entirely fresh looking. Plasticised black strapless gowns were the final looks that concluded Simons’ clever interpretation of a bygone period for the 21st century woman.

His first bow was a brief one but the audience's standing ovation and roaring cheers demanded he'd come out for a second time

The soundtrack only made the show more emotive as Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You' segued into Sonic Youth’s cover of The Carpenters and ended with Simons’ Smashing Pumpkins favourite, 'Tonight, Tonight'.  His first bow was a brief one but the audience's standing ovation and roaring cheers demanded that the designer come out for a second time. The tears on his face said it all. It is an end of an era but we should also be excited for a new one, both at Jil Sander with the return of Jil Sander herself and for Simons, who will create impact wherever he goes. 

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