Jil Sander’s ‘ayous’ clogs and A.W.A.K.E’s woven top and skirt have comfort and relaxation at their heart
The idea of mindful retreat was on the mind of several designers this season – among them, Luke and Lucie Meier, the husband-and-wife duo who together helm Jil Sander. In their short time at the house, they have redefined the severe minimalism of the label’s founder with an altogether softer touch: for Spring/Summer 2019, they presented a collection based on uniform – boxers, ballerinas and military women among them – though the clothing itself had none of the strictness that these roles might suggest. Instead, a poetic simplicity comprised of Dickies-style workwear trousers which flared gently towards the hem, elegantly tailored boiler suits, plissé skirts – this was a wardrobe for a relaxed state of mind. An appealingly sedate campaign, photographed by Mario Sorrenti in Japan, followed: in several of the images models recline in healing Ryokan onsen baths, in others they pass wistfully through fishing villages and traditional teahouses.
Here, Jil Sander’s ‘ayous’ clogs – which meld together Japanese Geta sandals and the orthopedic fussbett sliders of Sander’s native Germany – are worn with an ensemble by A.W.A.K.E. The label’s Belgian designer, Natalia Alaverdian, too channels a sense of Japanese-inflected calm in much of her work, where softly deconstructed staples are pushed just off-kilter. For her Pre-Fall 2019 collection she looked towards the dress codes of minimal 1990s business attire, but a natural sense of ease prevailed: pieces are reassuring in their sized-up proportions, or wrap and tie around the body simply. The ensemble above, for example – a coordinating top and skirt in waffle-texture cotton, the latter tying gently around the waist – has all the comfort and relaxation of a freshly laundered hotel robe.
Hair: Hirokazu Endo using Bumble & Bumble. Make-up: Mattie White using Lord & Berry. Model: Priscilla Cheseaux at Storm Management. Casting: Troy Casting at D+V Management. Set design: Laura Little. Manicure: Robbie Tomkins at Premier. Photographic assistants: Ellen Egan. Styling assistants: Priyanka Makwana, Sarah Carone, Grace Naef and Antoine Caballero. Set-design assistants: Frank Styles.