Jil Sander’s highly anticipated (second) return to the house that holds her name echoed her first homecoming from S/S 2004. Then she won over critics with a crisp palette-cleansing set of simple, predominantly white pieces that stood as a pleasant antidote to the drama of early noughties dressing. Today, in her stark lab-like show space, she took up that same mantle, presenting a collection that was the antithesis of all that modern fashion has come to fetishize – a stripped back, print-less, fuss-free lesson in minimal chic, shown off schedule. Classy.
At the crux of the collection, dubbed a 'Reset to Zero', was a simple colour palette of rich burgundy, deep navy, and white, with occasional dashes of tangy orange and chocolate (giving a faint whiff of Prada Resort). Sander unsurprising continued her fascination with reworking established feminine essentials – apt given that she once told Vogue, ‘a classic is an excuse, because one is too lazy to contrast the spirit of the time.’ All the core elements of a woman’s work wardrobe were there – the skirt suit, the perfect white shirt, the jacket – but rehashed in new ways, whether through a more rounded shape, a fresh length or, in some cases, a iridescent polka-dot embellishment. As always, Sander’s signature inventiveness came in the details. A cropped-sleeved, three button jacket became sexy thanks to a perfectly positioned fastening that revealed a flash of leg with each step, while a black top was cut with a single vent up the back, echoing a man’s suit jacket. A stand out detail was the pockets – usually such a humble, overlooked addition to a garment – which came oversized, and positioned to intentionally alter the silhouette. The footwear was equally impressive, in particular the two-toned boots which fastened with a wonderfully proportioned spiral zip.
It’s telling that Sander’s closing look was a simple white shirt, worn with an equally understated white cocoon skirt. What a final exit to close the most hyped show of the season. But really, there couldn’t have been a better choice to epitomise her quiet, yet brilliant, return. Amusingly, as the models took their finale turn, she also opted for deliberate silence. As soon as they began to troupe out, crossing the square white runway, the music cut. You got the sense that she just wanted to let the clothes do the talking, while the applause rang on and on.