Runway Shows

Jil Sander Spring 2009: Parallel Universe

Jil Sander Spring 2009

Jil Sander Spring 2009

MILAN, Sep 24, 2008 / FW/ — Raf Simons did it again! Arguably his best collection for Jil Sander to date, the Belgian designer upheld the German maison’s DNA of minimalism while introducing new silhouettes.

Fringe were added to tailored looks, thus giving a 1920s appeal, the 21st century equivalent of the 1920s speakeasies. Black & white with all their shades between them, one blue was added, perhaps just to break the monotony or as a guide, like a lighthouse.

Yet, monochrome is Raf Simon’s forte and like the design maestro that he is, he made every outfit count, every exit unforgettable.

Still, sitting here in Milan and witnessing a very good season, reading the news from back home about the Uncle Sam’s bailout of the Wall Street made me think of the 1920s, the decade before the American Great Depression.

Seeing the influences of the 1920s on the runway is like déjà vu; are fashion designers clairvoyant? Do they see something we don’t? Are Americans in for a rough ride?

True, we have learned a lot since the 1930s; we have moved forward since then. But, are those lessons enough to avoid a total financial disaster? Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps.

In science fiction, parallel universes exist, but what happens in one does not necessarily happen in the other. Let’s just keep our fingers cross that this is the case between the 20th and 21st centuries in this universe.

[SARA CONDE]

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