This was Jil Sander without Jil Sander - and without its long departed brother, Raf Simons. Five collections into Rodolfo Paglialunga’s tenure, he is working on providing a new stability.
Mossy pools full of grasses and dotted with alliums were placed like concave pods throughout a concrete catwalk. Models exited wearing bucolic flower pot cloches. These headpieces skewed the collection towards a kind of minimalism that felt rustic and humble.
Tufted and pulled seams highlighted the construction and panelling, which made up these mostly all black, cream and white pieces. Halter necks were layered over camisole vests; this collection really nailed that inadvertently sensual vibe that comes from cutting industrial shapes in silks. However, originality was a bit of an issue here. A dress with a pattern that mimicked the idea of having a shirt tied at the waist – as well as lots of criss-cross backless dresses and styles revealing winks of skin - called to mind the great American designer, Geoffrey Beene. Paglialunga isn't the only one taking inspiration from this designer’s archives. J.W. Anderson, Celine and Stella McCartney have all done so in recent seasons.
Black and toile ribbons, and thick shoulder straps on dungaree dresses reminded one of blacksmith aprons and again had a simple industrial charm. There was an expressionist print that almost looked like a bird, almost like a ballerina. A further print then followed that looked - definitely maybe - like a seashell. This was a collection that was dodging a motif.
An incredible decon jacket with feathered trims was pulled off the shoulder to reveal a blouson blouse underneath. Drawstring arms added a performance edge, whilst satin sidled under open pinafore dresses. The strap which horizontally arrived out of the side of a vertical keyhole felt a bit too familiar, like a previous J.W. move - not that I'm sure the idea, again, really belongs to J.W. either.