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Category: Jil Sander

Milan Fashion Week: At Versace and Jil Sander, power women kick butt

Versace milan fashion week The Milan fall fashion season began with quietly feminine collections from Miuccia Prada and Alberta Ferretti. But on Friday night, the runway revved up with two takes on the power woman.

In the hands of Donatella Versace, she was built for speed and techno tough. Motocross leather pants cropped above ankle wrap boots and jackets with sporty elastic and zipper insets formed the basis of this strong collection for a more athletic take on classic tailoring.

Body-conscious dresses and skirts were another highlight, with asymmetrical panels of ribbed knit and chrome-look mirrored leather.

Gowns in black or white, traffic-sign yellow or red, were spare and modern with minimal graphic leather or chiffon details, and skin-flashing cutouts.

It made for a striking picture when the models posed on the runway together in a final tableau.

Except that we've met this power woman before. In fact, several editors in the front row were already dressing like her in second-skin leather leggings and biker jackets.
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Milan Fashion Week: At Jil Sander, Raf Simons' stages of deconstruction

Jil sander

At Jil Sander, Raf Simons took the concept of deconstruction that has been creeping into the collections this season (ripping forms apart and putting them back together in a different way), and made it entirely his own.

A clip from Michelangelo Antonioni's 1970 film "Zabriskie Point," picturing a man and a woman in an amorous outdoor romp, set the scene for clothes in various stages of deconstruction. And indeed, some pieces looked as if they could have been ripped and frayed during the throes of passion.

A white sheath with tatters for fringe; a cut-and-paste blazer with pockets standing at attention; a white mesh dress with knit panels tracing every curve -- the clothes were organic, raw, even emotional. But did they work? Yes and no.

It was refreshing to see a designer so unrestrained, letting the whole creative process hang out, as it were. But some things crossed the realm of interesting into weird (he could have used an edit).

Still, there were gems -- a black dress in double-layer organza, slit from the neck to the small of the back; a grainy, cream-colored silk tweed blazer with tattered lapels; a black pencil skirt with petal-like scraps of fabric appliqued on the hips: and a sandstone knit dress with artful oval cutouts winding around the body.

The film only heightened the experience on a steamy Milan night, as people tried to keep their eyes (and their minds) on the clothes.

--Booth Moore

Photos: Spring-Summer 2010 Jil Sander runway

All the Rage: More from Milan Fashion Week

Photo: Spring-Summer 2010 Jil Sander runway. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times

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MFW: Jil Sander sees the white, light

Rage_sander_painting One of the biggest surprises at Milan Fashion Week so far --  besides the sunshine and blue sky that appeared without warning over the perennially overcast city (I've now seen the sun shine precisely once in five visits) -- is the dearth of color. Spring/summer collections are traditionally the place to give the color wheel a spin, but this time around the vibrant hues seem to have been all but wrung out of the collections.

What wasn't basic black and white tended to be shades of mineral -- slate browns, chalk grays, sandy taupes. Even the blues and greens were the muted shades reminiscent of weathered clapboard houses on the cape. But for some collections, when color took a backseat, texture and shape took center stage. Rage_sander2

Jil Sander was one of those collections. In his show notes, designer Raf Simons said he was inspired by the paintings "Combat" and "Grande Composition" by Japanese artist Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, which were projected on the walls flanking the runway. 

The cotton poplins, ultra-light taffetas and linens were so light that unlined trenchcoats (which popped up everywhere today) partially lined blazers and transparent vests seemed to enshroud the models like cloud vapor, an effect heightened by subtle, curved jacket cuffs and hems.

Several pieces, including the shirt pictured, were printed with images from the artwork, with such a light touch it was almost as if Foujita had himself applied the traditional Japanese inking with soft brush strokes. He didn't -- he died in 1968, but his bowl cut lives on. That coif topped the entire run of models.

Even the eyewear collection underscored the feeling of weightlessness, with lenses suspended from metallic frames.

Metal also appeared in very subtle edging on necklines and collars, giving some pieces the feeling of Roman tunics.

In the hands of a lesser talent, the collection could have come across as a huge bore, but Simons managed to make the clothes feel freeing and effortless.

And that's no mean feat when those clothes included a short-sleeve shirt buttoned all the way up to the Adam's apple.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: At top, a detail from Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita's "Combat." Credit: Adam Tschorn. At bottom, a look from the Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2009 Collections. Credit: Peter Stigter

More Photos from the Jil Sander Men's Spring/Summer 2009 Runway Collection

More from Milan Fashion Week | Photos

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MFW: Jil Sander collection brings life to a lackluster week

MILAN -- Thank goodness for Raf Simons. Just when the Milan shows were about to put us all to sleep, he showed some of the most exciting clothes of the fall season.

The first part of his collection for Jil Sander was a tribute to the 20-year-old label's powerful minimalist aesthetic, reminding us that something as simple as a cream turtleneck dress and oatmeal-colored double-face cashmere coat can shine, thanks to perfect cut and fabrication.

A clever black dress made to look like a jacket with lapels and pocket flaps, and a traffic-cone orange Rage_sander short sleeve shift with raised seams, further demonstrated the brand's timeless, spare beauty, while juicy-colored patent leather flats injected a small dose of up-to-the-moment fashion.

Then the music went down, colored lights started flashing and the real show began, the one where Simons let his imagination run wild. Inspired by the work of French ceramist Pol Chambost, Simons' sculptural forms with contrast color pieces peeling away from, or spiraling around, the body were thrilling to look at from every angle.

Neon yellow or green peeked out from the asymmetrical hem of a black skirt and the funnel neck of a black dress. A white coat with a single undulating lapel was strong and graphic, as was a purple shift with a curving, folded collar.

The concept got the better of Simons with a few awkward volumes and flying hip flourishes that disregarded a woman's figure.  Still, the creative impulse was electrifying.

-- Booth Moore

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Photo: A look from the Fall '09 Jil Sander collection at Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Giulio di Mauro/European Pressphoto Agency.  

Chic spring sandals arrive at the Gap

1phgreen Don’t let this last week of dreary weather fool you, sandal season is indeed upon us. The sun is now shining, we’re thinking of spring and inspired to buy new sandals, but hesitant to spend a lot of money.

These adorable styles at the Gap are under $100 and look like they came out of a high-end designer box.

The multicolored Gladiator sandals in persimmon look like Marni meets Jil Sander, but cost just $39.50. A pair of Pierre Hardy for the Gap platform sandals are strappy shoes that add a ton of height and elongate the leg if worn with a short, simple dress. The same style was available last summer as well, but this time it's offered in an array of colors such as green and maroon. The platforms are $98.1persimmonglad

Because being on a budget is no excuse for wearing ratty, rubber flip-flops all the time. 

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: At left, Pierre Hardy for the Gap platform sandal; at right, Gladiator sandal in persimmon. Photo credit: The Gap

Milan: Optimism, pinups and Pop Art

Michael Kors Against a backdrop of financial uncertainty, there is a playful optimism to some of the runway shows for the spring season, in the form of cartoonish silhouettes, Pop Art colors and prints. It started with Michael Kors' 1950s, full-skirted gingham romp in New York and has now hit Milan at D&G and Moschino.

Los Angeles-based pop star Katy Perry is undoubtedly one inspiration for designers' modern day pinups, and there she was looking perky in the front row at D&G. The collection was an ode to sunny playgrounds such as Cap d'Antibes and Cannes, with striped knit bathing suits, sequin sweaters emblazoned with anchors and pleated shirts in a sailing knot print.

Models walked on red, white and blue platform sandals that laced up the leg, and sported floppy sun hats or knit bathing caps with over-sized round sunglasses. There were also boxy tweed jackets inD&G the spirit of  Chanel, high-waist sailor pants, and sweaters in a metallic red, white and blue fisherman's knit that sparkled like fireworks. What a blast.

The fun continued Tuesday morning at Moschino, where British singer Roisin Murphy was the guest of honor, with a teased Rockabilly updo to rival Amy Winehouse's in the pop star hair of fame.

On the runway, models wore the same hairstyle, along with candy-colored silk swing coats and shifts with cartoon-size bows at the neck, and jeweled cat's eye sunglasses.

Rage_moschino52 If it all sounds over-the-top, it wasn't. There were plenty of little black dresses and a lovely evening coat in chiffon whirled into flower buds. A beige satin coatdress with ruffled cap sleeves was nice, too. Exaggerated wedge platforms were cool, as was a handbag that spelled out what should be the season's tagline: "Ideal Dress = No Stress."

Elsewhere on the runway, I was looking forward to seeing what Raf Simons had up his sleeve at Jil Sander, since "simple," "architectural" and "classic" are becoming buzz words for the season. With a Man Ray portrait as a backdrop for the runway, he spun a tale of 1920s elegance and African tribalism-- tunics swinging fringe, shift dresses and coats slit under the arms for subtle plays on color and light, and spectacular jackets in intriguing swing shapes or with free-floating panels or cowl backs.

Shoe heels were inspired by Brancusi sculptures, and earrings -- part of a new jewelry line in collaboration with Italian jeweler Damiani -- resembled spears studded with diamonds.

Jil Sander

But the models in the show were unsettling, to say the least. All white automatons with slick ponytails, they looked like an Aryan army. The show was inspired by Africa! Who does he think lives there? And in this era, when the luxury fashion business truly is global, there was no excuse.

-- Booth Moore

Photos top to bottom: Michael Kors' Spring/Summer 2009 collection from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York earlier this month, D&G, Moschino  and Jil Sander all in Milan this week. All photos by Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times.


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