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Show Report

Show Report: Jil Sander A/W 16 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 29 February 2016

Lucy Norris reports on the Jil Sander A/W 16 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Jil Sander A/W 16 womenswear show.

This was a strong outing for Rodolfo Paglialunga. After a few seasons in the seat at Jil Sander, the designer has found a depth of connection both with the house, and with fabric itself. ?
One phrase in the show notes really summed up his latest approach. This show was about how 'subtracting could become an act of maximising.' The collection felt big and bold yet deeply considered. This confident approach saw thick condensed wools create 3D pieces that were cut away from the body. Watching this collection from the side of the runway helped one really appreciated the generous, luxurious and sensual nature of a pair of trousers, coat, or funnel neck dress. Some if it evoked the iconic work of Cristobel Balenciaga, as black swathes of fabric twisted or floated around or off the shoulder of stunning dresses. Whilst, high waisted, ruched dresses knocked on the door of the kimono - which also inspired the work of the mid 20th century master. The shoes were oversized, and lent the look of these girls being dolls - rigorous fabric held its form around them in some kind of one-size fits all prototype parade.
 
Belts on mannish wool coats were pulled back to create a pseudo hourglass silhouette. Raf Simons has played around with this idea before - whilst also using Cristobal Balenciaga references within his menswear (at his own label). There were slight nods to work that Simons had done within womenswear at Jil Ssnder - which I didn't mind at all. Jil Sanders' short stint back at her namesake house proved that what Simons had bought to the house - whilst she had been absent - had been femininity. And, dare I say it, an easier legacy upon which an incoming designer can build narrative and connection.
 
Metallics were a key element for dresses, knits and evening wear, and really took the collection up a notch. Paglialunga was talking about ‘Nocturnal’ times - and ‘an expressionist take on sobriety.’ Lunar sparkle courtesy of shimmering lurex knits and scratchy silver embroideries added a modern, light touch - which felt inspired and hand touched. An incredible liquid PVC grey coat had the perfect reflection of an otherworldly lake caught inside a laboratory. From immaculately polished, the collection pivoted back to the other end of the textural scale - to deliver silver foiled crinkled dresses and long line fur two-pieces.
 
The show invitation had been a matt and shiny black square, which folded out from the inside, mirroring the designer's line of enquiry into shape - via textures and fabric innovation. Paglialunga rendered a collection that saw this house's heritage of minimalism achieve emotion - and a new exciting place within the season.  

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