Jil Sander creative directors, husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier, have all the tools to build a modern day luxury brand.
Lucie, with her experience as a designer at Dior — where she was the interim creative director between Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri — excels at womenswear and couture-like techniques while Luke’s past experience as head designer at Supreme, as well as with his own menswear brand OAMC, brings in a street sensibility making the brand appeal to a wider audience.
Ever since taking the creative reins at the German house in early 2017, the two have built new style codes for the brand. Seasonal evolution over revolution, emphasizing continuity between collections.
“It’s a progression of our point of view,” Luke tells Highsnobiety after his show. “We’re not excited about approaching [a collection] and then throwing it all away the next.”
So staples that the two designers have built from the start were all present in updated versions. Tailoring was sharp, yet relaxed. Some lapels had an open neckline, eliminating their collars. Knitwear came in standout floral jacquards with hand-crocheted fringing flowing from the shoulders and sides of light cotton sweaters. Japanese cotton was used for the workwear and shirting. One trench coat was made from organic banana fibre, a material the two had experimented with for their last women’s collection.
“Our research is always in that [sustainable] direction first,” says Luke. The invite of the show was a small branded pouch containing five seed bombs made from dirt, meant to be planted outdoors. On it, it read “The World Needs More Flowers.” Fittingly the show location contained many plants, standing tall behind a matte transparent wall.
The collection’s palette of cream, sand, cacao, deep navy, and burgundy fit the setting, as did the pin-striped garments with hand-drawn botanical prints that bedecked the back of jackets and coats. “Hymns to nature” the show notes stated. That softness was balanced out with the more rugged military vests, combat boots and many structural new bag models.
“This Charming Man” by The Smiths played in a cappella, followed by “Hold On To Your Friends” by Morrissey.
The clothing might not be for everyone but for those into the minimalist, but never mundane, aesthetic that the Meiers are continuing to build, the community is strong. Their idea of creating clothing that is meant to be worn not just looked at from a distance is slowly gaining traction. If Phoebe Philo would have designed menswear under her tenure at Céline, it would have very likely resembled what Jil Sander is putting out today, to its advantage.