Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The "Queen of Less" - Jil Sander, S/S 13

After 8 years away from her eponymous label, Jil Sander returned to Milan Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer 2013 collections armed to the hilt with her trademark purist designs. Establishing her brand in 1973, Sander's melted the neart of working women worldwide during the Nineties with her understated professionalism that fulfilled the designer's promise of delivering clothes suitable for climbing the corporate ladder. After three years collaborating with Japanese high street brand Uniqlo, Jil Sander polished the floor with the competition on her return (namely her predecessor Raf Simons, who made his move into Dior via the Paris catwalks), channelling the clean, minimalistic designs that we have come respect from the German sartorialist.

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Famous for her understated palette of white, beige, navy and black, Sander stayed true to her self-built heritage by creating a number of beautiful looks in the deepest of blues. Look 3 comprised of a two piece skirt suit in the silkiest of fabric, with a slim-fitting pencil skirt contrasting against a voluminous, cropped jacket whose floaty sleeves fell just around the elbow. Two paces behind, look 5 saw a return of her famous overcoat, a wonderfully simple number that looked effortlessly professional thrown over a white t-shirt and short combination. Also of note was the oversized cocoon coat that featured pockets around the waist to emphasis the area in a subtly erogenous way, worn buttoned up as an outfit in itself.

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Forever loved as the colour that defines 'chic' (in no small part thankful to Coco Chanel), black naturally featured heavily throughout Sander's collection. Another skirt suit combination was embodied as look 27, again utilising the classic pencil skirt but instead keeping the top half tailored with a double breasted blazer. By now it may appear that trousers were a no-go in this particular selection, but look 24 paired a slim fitting cigarette pant with three quarter length sleeves and a boat neck up top. Moving forward, voluminou sleeves made an appearance again on look 26 with a very slight pleated effect that lended themselves perfectly against to the womanly silhouette of the dress they adorned.

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However, outfits were not kept to solely one colour. Sander's collection featured a number of dresses that contrasted white against an array of other shades. Look 20 featured a bold line of maroon to compliment the dropped, deconstructed bomber jacket layered on top whilst number 18 marched down the catwalk in a classic combination of black and white. Many more styles featured a white top half balanced out with a splash of colour on the bottom, as look 13 demonstrates here with the use of navy separated by a dark brown band.

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In keeping with the clean aesthetic of the show (runways were simply white; a delightful difference to be noted against some of the more ostentatious displays), beauty extraordinaire Pat McGrath lent her brush to create an envious bare faced look across the models. Channeling a 1990s vibe, make up was kept to an absolute minimum, limited only to creating an glow that seemed to light up the model's skin from the inside. Brows were filled in in a way more subtly than some of the other boy-meets-girl make up looks of the season, acting simply to frame the face and accentuate the features.

As a result of their parred down styles, almost each and every look on Jil Sander's runway could translate to a subtly trend led look for the office. However, if you're lacking in the balance to purchase any of the Queen of Less' numbers (I most certainly know I am), check out brands on the high street such as Cos, Reiss and Zara. No doubt already favourites within your wardrobe, these three serve as some of the best examples of minimalism off the catwalk, allowing those of us with a smaller budget to still invest in timeless, understated pieces.


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