Raf Simons is often chided for a perceived lack of sensuality, but his S/S 2010 Jil Sander collection evidently sought to redress the balance. Against an arthouse-cum-hardcore backdrop of a couple (or was it a triple?) making love in sand, Simons showed his own softer, some may say sexier side. Sex for Simons isn't of the hyped-up, multicoloured and pelmet-short Italian school - he is a Belgian working at a German house, after all, and both are renowned as bastions of rigorous and considered intellectual design. Accordingly, when Simons bared flesh it was through tears in the fabric, slicing jackets open at the back and leaving edges raw and unravelled, or snipping into the fabric of crepe dresses, with lappets of cloth appliqued above to play peek-a-boo as models walked. This motif was expanded and expounded, until dresses came covered in these undulating cloth fronds - a legacy from the fringed show of this time last year? At the same time (pre-porno) Christo popped up on those projections - Simon's sensual cloth-play is surely part of his heritage (a few tightly-trussed and knotted crepe cocktail frocks made his point nicely). The collection itself was structured around the Safari jacket: both the jacket itself, and its signature patch-pockets popping up throughout in stand-out tailoring. The best latched onto Simons's slicing, with amputated panels above pockets and across bare ribs in a short oatmeal number. The unhacked ones were pretty fine also: cinched at the waist with belts, they had a slight 1940s air (intentional or not), paired with slim skirts or fabulous wide-legged trousers in navy, white or every shade of neutral. Puffball-shaped jackets splaying over hips - possibly styling tricks with models' hands stuffed in pockets - were less successful, likewise the precariously hefty hollow-heeled platforms, sending models stumbling, uneasily and bent-legged, as if they were towing a barge. But these were minor criticisms, churlish even, given that Simons at Sander has just shown a seductive and consummate display of modern fashion at its very finest.
The collection itself was structured around the Safari jacket.