I have always loved the designs of Jil Sander. From the first time I noticed her work in the late 1980s to her fabulous collaboration with Uniqlo in 2009, I’ve always appreciated her ability to create clothes that are streamlined, somewhat futuristic and sporty, but also feminine and wearable. I spent a huge amount of money on her +J collections for Uniqlo thinking at the time that I’d never be able to get hold of her own work under her own name.
So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Sander was heading back to her eponymous label and would be once again creating clothes bearing her own name on the label. My credit card suddenly started looking worried.
When the first Jil Sander ready-to-wear collection by her own hand came out in for Spring Summer 2013 I was totally sold; the queen of wearable minimalism was back. Her classic tropes of white shirts, tailoring and coats were all there, with an updated palette of blue, burgundy and shots of orange among her iconic black and white.
Key looks from Jil Sander Autumn Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection. Images: Showbit
In describing her inspirations for the Autumn Winter 2013 collection, Sander’s notes stated: “High-carat femininity, graceful and incorruptible. Mind and body, Oscar Niemeyer's curves and Mandelbrod’s fractals. Sophisticated edginess and effortless modernity of a regal figure. Firm steps, spirited poise”. All of which she has managed to convey via the dresses, skirts, trousers and coats sent down the runway at Milan Fashion Week.
For AW13, Sander has continued to develop her strengths; the tailoring, the women-friendly shapes and even the shots of colour begun in SS12 remain – the blue and orange remain, enlivened with shots of metallic gold mesh, grey and butter yellow. Additionally there are prints; a simple series of lines on sweaters and some on-trend large plaids in muted blues and burgundy.
One thing missing from the collection, however, are the white shirts; a shock perhaps for die-hard fans, but there are sure to pieces in-store if not on the runway.
The addition of luxe materials including the aforementioned gold mesh, Argentinian beaver, cashmere and leather, move the range beyond the ordinary working-woman’s wardrobe towards more high-end investment pieces.
Skirts are slim-line and below the knee; shoulder shapes are softly rounded, on-trend but not extreme; waists are defined, with narrow volume on the hips in an almost-inverted tulip shape; pants are narrow and straight, they’re extremely wearable.
The shoes are mostly high, albeit with solid stacked heels, although there’s a flatter version too, they’re based on a classic monk-strap winklepicker style and come in a variety of painted leathers including pewter and a pair with a touch of gold.
Other stand-out accessories are the bags; there is a soft, holdall clutch with held with a strap for the arm in two sizes and a structured, narrow mini-doctor’s bag carried like a clutch.
More “evening” wear was on show for Autumn Winter 2013, including a lovely silk shantung dress in “midnight” with soft draping, a divinely simple strapless dress with a full, oddly-pleated skirt and the “gold” series – a sweater and split skirt; a shell top and matching skirt in double-faced felt and another brilliantly elegant strapless dress.
Overall you can see that Sander has taken the time to rethink her own iconic pieces; she’s added the luxury elements that buyers now expect of the label after eight years of Raf Simons’ work, but kept to her own stringent ideas of femininity and wearability. The Autumn Winter 2013 collection is replete with covetable pieces; these are investment pieces worth saving-up for.
Jil Sander ready-to-wear Autumn Winter 2013 will be available from the Singapore Jil Sander boutique at the Hilton Hotel Singapore, #02-22/23, 581 Orchard Road, Tel: 6304 1353. For more information about Jil Sander, go to www.club21global.com/jil-sander. Follow Jil Sander on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jilsandertheofficialpage and Twitter at @JilSanderOff.