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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Jil Sander: Seeking Serenity

All the minimalist tropes were there, but the purity was not peaceful

2 Марта 2016

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Think of a descriptive word beginning with “s”, and there is a wide choice appropriate to the collection sent out in the name of Jil Sander: sobriety, solemnity, strictness, severity.

Creative Director Rodolfo Paglialunga cited various other effects to explain some weird, and some graceful, creations in a collection he called “nocturnal”. There was a good deal of black, starting with suits, the silhouettes drawn with such Cruella de Vil intensity that it came as a mild shock when the models turned to display an attempt of prettiness with a gathered back.

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Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


Gone the Princess of Darkness: say hello to a bow! Yet the softening did not help to make the silhouette womanly. Instead the show was dramatic, sometimes with a grandiose effect. The minimalism, of which the brand’s founder was mistress of all she surveyed, remained a house code. But the designer played boldly with outside surfaces – one sparky dress with silvered surfaces had the effect of a scratchy Brillo pad absorbed by silk and textured wool. 

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Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


The problem for anyone who has traced even just the surface of the streamlined clothes she produced, is that her fashion is now positioned at the end of a very long journey. The baggage includes her entire life, her personal development as a woman, parallel with the seismic shift in women’s position in society. 

Rodolfo Paglialunga cannot really be expected as a designer - and, yes, as a male designer - to absorb the Jil Sander spirit. But there was something telling about one essential word that was missing in his list of “s” words: serenity.

Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Jil Sander, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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