“It’s not about minimalism, it’s about purity,” said Lucie Meier of her and Luke Meier’s beautiful new collection for Jil Sander
Lucie and Luke Meier made their Jil Sander debut in 2017; three years on, their success is evidenced by the fact that it is increasingly difficult to remember what came before at the Milan-headquarted label. Which is not to say that the husband-and-wife duo have entirely abandoned the rigorous minimalism of the brand’s namesake. Rather, that they favour a softer, more generous touch, and flourishes of craft – clothing which suggests the presence and patience of a human hand.
Yesterday evening in Milan, the Meiers showed their latest collection at Casa del Design, the city’s upcoming museum of industrial design. Taking place in the new building’s vast central hall, models circled the space before taking a seat on one of 50-or-so cane-backed chairs that ran the length of the runway, remaining there until the show’s end. With runway presentations usually blink-and-you-might-miss-it affairs, this felt like a rare pause, leaving precious moments to linger over the clothes before it was gone.
Of those garments, the Meiers talked once again about synthethising elements of masculine and feminine clothing, a device they’ve employed since the beginning of their tenure – and apt, considering they are a male and female designer working across genders. In practice, it means they are continually searching for a kind of balance in their clothing: “The coexistence of strength and sensitivity, playfulness and severity, in ourselves and our wardrobes,” the notes elucidated.
Central to this thinking was a mannish overcoat, its waist softly contoured to suggest a feminine shape, which reappeared throughout. Such a duality was also struck in the way elements were combined: a strong-shouldered blazer might be worn over a diaphanous white slip dress, a jacket’s sleeves pulled up to the elbow to reveal the expansive cuff of the shirt beneath. Through this elements of craft were interwoven – chief among them intricate silk fringing, which descended from a series of gowns, or in one case, made up the entirety of a cape (the manpower demands of such saw it deemed a “handmade masterpiece” in the notes). A colour palette segued from black, white and grey, to soothing pastels: pale blue and yellow, ecru, peach and ivory.
Amid the bustle and noise of fashion month, the show offered a welcome palette cleanser. “It’s not about minimalism, it’s about purity,” Lucie Meier surmised.