Jil Sander redefines the rules of minimalism for AW21

Lucie and Luke Meier, the wife-and-husband duo behind Jil Sander, went outside their comfort zone with their latest collection.

by Osman Ahmed
11 March 2021, 1:36pm

Perhaps the strangest thing about a year of lockdown is all the past 12 months of anxiety and isolation have flipped the switch on our comfort zones. Many of us have been questioning our taste, bored to death of our surroundings and possessions, and eager to try something new and different. Who among us hasn’t felt the urge to redecorate our homes? Or to declutter our wardrobes — or, on the contrary, fantasise about completely rehauling them with very different looks? As the world has been turned upside down, so too have our usual impulses. Minimalists have been toying with maximalism; magpie collectors have been streamlining their hoard. It couldn’t be truer of fashion designers, too. The last year has been a drawn-out period of reflection that has forced creatives to venture beyond the confines of house codes, largely because we’ve all been sitting still at home. Case in point: Jil Sander’s AW21 collection.

Lucie and Luke Meier, the wife-and-husband duo at the creative helm of the minimalist house, have designed a collection that seemingly introduces very un-Jil motifs. Baroque vests of pearls, bauble-like handbags, chintzy floral embroideries and distinctly Milanese retro prints all make an appearance in Jil Sander’s offering for post-lockdown life. There are, of course, the clean-lined silhouettes and pared-back tailoring that we’ve come to expect from them, but this season, it’s imbued with a sense of surprise. “We thought it was important to bring back playfulness because we’re tired of all this seriousness,” Lucie told us. “It’s nice to give people pleasure again, to dress up and dress in colours. The way you dress can change your mood. If you just sit around in sweatpants all the time, there won’t be a revolution.”

The central idea in their collection was taking the austere lines of Jil’s clean silhouettes, and putting the fabrics through different techniques to evoke the warmth of handcraft. As a result, bias-cut lingerie dresses were spliced with lace, silk fringing cascades from the seams of dresses, and crochet knits echoed the geometry of Bauhaus graphics. It was deliciously unexpected, and perhaps all the more enticing because of it.

As the collection came out, it was announced that Jil Sander’s Japanese parent company would be selling the brand to Only the Brave, the fashion group owned by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, which also includes John Galliano’s Maison Margiela and Francesco Risso’s Marni. It’s interesting that the Meiers will be joining the ranks of two of fashion’s most madcap, out-there designers — if anything, perhaps the uplifting, unexpected touches of experimentation are a taste of what’s to come as Jil Sander enters a new era.

Milan Fashion Week
jil sander
luke and lucie meier