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Milan Fashion Week: Jil Sander, Raf Simons ski dazzles

February 26, 2011 |  8:52 pm

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Raf Simons did it again, following last season's Jil Sander spectacular with a repeat performance.

This time it was ski wear that inspired him, which means stirrup pants are back! All black, and pulled through the wedge soles of ankle boots, they created the perfect foundation for body-conscious knits with colorful, figurative designs. Tunics as easy as sweatshirts also evoked a louche luxe. One style came embroidered with loops of clear beads that sparkled like crunchy snow. And all the models had their hair swirled like soft-serve cones.

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As with last season, color played a starring role in this collection -- vivid red, blue, yellow and green. And 1950s couture was the starting point for experiments with volume and outsize silhouettes.

Felted wool caped coats morphed into coat dresses, one in cherry red shaped by a martingale, another in goldenrod yellow with a low-slung belt tied in front. To break up the powerful palette, Simons introduced warp-printed duchesse satin alpine florals.

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A Tilda Swinton will be happy to know he brought spring's ball skirts back. A chocolate brown version with a wide waistband, worn with a crisp navy shirt tucked in, might as well have had her name on it.

But Simons had a different, but no less genius, twist on T-shirts this time. He insulated them ever so slightly, with just the right amount of down feathers.

Because when you're dressed in a fabulous, down-filled black T-shirt and royal blue skirt, who needs beauty rest?

-- Booth Moore in Milan

Photos: Looks from the Jil Sander fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times

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