PARIS, France — The main contribution that Luke and Lucie Meier have brought to the new Jil Sander is a touch of warmth, which they channel, mainly, through an ongoing association to the vegetal world. It started in Milano during the Salone del Mobile with a beautiful installation in the house headquarters, and it continued today in Paris with the show venue: a vast industrial space divided in two by a quasi-transparent screen, giving glimpses and shadows of the many potted plants placed behind it.
Of course this is just a prop, but the idea of putting Sander in such a context reverberates anyway. It is very telling indeed.
Or, to put it in the words of Luke Meier: "When you work in this way, taking everything away, the risk is that things become too cold or generic. Our aim with Jil Sander is to add some soul.”
The soul was delivered in today's show, but there was nothing bucolic about it. The Meiers inject it by balancing the clean lines and crisp fabrications the house stands for with crafty elements such as long fringes, organic banana fibers and stripy tablecloth cottons. The contrast of the polished and the sophisticatedly rustic, of the functional and the relaxed, places the Jil Sander man, just like the feminine counterpart, in another place, both physically (he does not exclusively belong to the city) and mentally (he comes across as engaged and aware, never dry or aloof). That's an achievement.