Jil Sander, who famously left her eponymous label in 2000, returned in 2003, and then left again in 2004, is back. Again. While the industry was upset and shocked at Raf Simons' abrupt ousting from the house, he's since landed himself a plum gig over at Dior. Once that was done, everyone could heave a sigh of relief for Raf and focus on what Sander would be bringing back to her label. When the announcement was made, Sander told WWD, "You have to break rules, if there is a good reason. And now is the right time to be daring, there are few new ideas.”
A spring menswear collection is her first foray back into luxury design after several years of doing fast fashion at Uniqlo, so what did the critics think of her vision? We looked at reviews from Tim Blanks, Guy Trebay and more. And the consensus seems to be: "Welcome back, Jil!" Here's what everyone had to say:
• Tim Blanks, Style.com:
This of course is not the first time Sander has retaken the reins here after a hiatus of one kind or another. But setting aside the brutal truncation of Raf Simons' stint under her name, this was a much more confident, convincing homecoming than Sander's last try. She knew it. She was positively radiant backstage.
• Guy Trebay, The New York Times:
Any designer making a comeback in a crowded and competitive field at age 68 might feel pressured to produce press-pleasing stunts or runway theatrics.
Yet trickery is needless when, like Ms. Sander, you can draw on a personal idiom that more meager talents have been referencing for years.
An auspicious opening to the men’s wear fashion week here, Sander’s show was a master class in cut and color, pattern and proportion.
Back to purism, pure and simple. Returning to her namesake brand after an eight-year absence, house founder Jil Sander swept aside the often experimental ways of her acclaimed successor Raf Simons (now the couturier at Christian Dior in Paris) and plied her signature minimalist tailoring...Sander set the reset button with this show, and let the industry know that — 44 years after founding her label in Hamburg — she still has something to say.
Jil Sander is back at the helm of her eponymous label, and the time away hasn't diluted the minimalist designer's signature clean, crisp aesthetic. For Spring 2013, Sander brought forth a bounty of new propositions for the modern man's wardrobe, most notably in the sleeveless coats and double-breasted blazers worn with billowing shorts, in silhouettes that alternated between skinny and body-skimming.
Click through to see all the looks from her show and judge for yourself.