MILAN, Italy — ‘Psychedelia’ — à la '60s counterculture — is not the first thing you would associate with Jil Sander, a brand forever linked with soulful precision. ‘Informed,’ on the other hand, is an adjective you would surely use for the kind of woman who favours the minimalist brand, choosing clothing that‘s more about the mind than the body. Luke and Lucie Meier, the co-creative directors who have injected new life into the house that Jil built, used both words to describe their latest collection this evening.
The two are on a mission to bring a little frisson to the label while staying true to its roots. They’ve kept the precision — most evident in the architectural dressing, the gorgeous tailoring and the immaculate shirting — but have added subtle elements that feel unexpected, if still organic: crafty touches, mostly.
This season these crafty touches were a lot, however: chunky raffia fringes, prints. That's where the psychedelia kicked in, creating a sharp contrast to the purity one associates with Jil Sander. The concept — shown against the backdrop of the Accademia di Brera, Milan’s most famous art school and, according to Luke Meier "a place where future countercultures may bloom" — was terrific on paper, but failed to materialise convincingly on the catwalk.
The juxtaposition of form and frenzy felt a little patchy. That said, imagining a Jil Sander woman exploring her wild side was an electrifying thought worth further experimentation. What the Meiers need to do is let go a little more.