Jil Sander the designer may have been the ultimate minimalist, but Jil Sander the brand is minimalist no more. Backstage, Lucie and Luke Meier explained that their spring collection was a study of shapes. There was nothing quite as standard as a two-piece suit. Instead, they cut jackets as boxy as squares and paired them with sailor-collar shirts and shorts to accentuate the silhouette. Or else they elongated their lines, showing duster coats on the guys and extending the men’s jackets nearly to the knees while raising the waistband of baggy shorts well past the navel. There was a looseness to their approach to tailoring; it suggested that they feel freer to play than they did in their earlier days at the label.

That freer sensibility held true of other categories too. Button-down shirts were accessorized with metal discs on their collar points, like built-in jewelry, and vests came with twin portholes on the upper chest outlined in the same polished chrome. The portholes were a little on the large side, but you appreciated the instinct. No quibbles with the giant cat face prints on a couple of tunic dresses.

The Meiers’ sharpest division from the Sander of old is in their knitwear. Modern knitting technology has made contemporary corporatewear newly comfortable, but the knit dresses that opened the show leaned less office appropriate than special occasion, with their clingy ribbed bodices blossoming below the waist into fuller skirts. Rhinestone necklaces further elevated the situation. The two dresses that closed the show were made from cotton, which they said they chose for its lightness. Their generous volumes, almost like carapaces, were made possible by the pleating on the back of the shoulders. Minimal? Maybe, but definitely statement making.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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