MILAN--Raf Simons really knocked it out of the park with his Spring 2011 collection for Jil Sander.
Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, and, just a few days ago, Miuccia Prada presented collections with neon color palettes. Now add Simons for Jil Sander to that list of designers who favor DayGlo over white and seafoam green for Spring. Simons' shocking fluorescent color palette--like a box of exploded highlighters--was so bright his models wore opaque silver sunglasses as if to protect their eyes.
With colors so bright, silhouettes were more in line with Jil Sanders' minimalist tradition, yet they were also voluminous and new. The line sheet made reference to "the language of couture--form, proportion, length and volume" as the inspiration for this new silhouette. The first looks out were taffeta ball gown skirts in neon paired with white short sleeved tees. The skirts then became more fitted, and took on peplum tops, which were seen over pants as well. Trousers were alternately tailored with a sharp seam down the front, or wide-legged to the extreme, with slits up the side of the legs. Light hooded parkas with draw string waists lent the collection a sporty feel. And dramatic column dresses described as "derived from tank tops...super-sized, elongated" made a statement in broad stripes.
To enhance the drama, the show was set to Bernard Herrmann's score from Psycho. But just before the shower-stabbing screech of violins, Busta Rhymes' "Gimme Some More" was mixed in (the song samples Herrmann's soundtrack), and all was well.
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