Jil Sander S/S 2010 / MFW / Day two

It takes a confident designer to show his collection in front of film footage of beautiful naked people having sex, sometimes in groups. So let’s give the chutzpah prize to Raf Simons, who on Friday evening used the dreamy sex-in-the-desert scene from Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point” as the potently poetic backdrop (shown on multiple screens) for his Jil Sander collection.

Apparently, the point was not mere prurience but intended to make a statement about the human capacity to adapt to nature. (Prior to the show, Simons screened a number of land-art movies.) If Antonioni’s love-addicted kids did so by writhing around in the desert sands, Simons worked the fashion angle by embracing a natural palette and raw edges.

And despite the considerable film-induced distraction factor, in the end the clothes won out: They were beautiful, as Simons applied his own deft nature play to high-polish clothes. He took his scissors to the skirt of a belted coatdress, creating an imperfect slit, tacked fabric scraps onto dresses and fashioned jackets from two fabrics of contrasting coarseness. Often he played with transparency, either of the tailored variety (authoritarian jackets over filmy pants) or as remarkably engineered knits that, from afar, looked like strategic body paint. If these beauties left a girl too naked for real life, well, that’s what underpinnings are for; most of the clothes were plenty wearable. And despite the celluloid setup that suggested otherwise, they were less intellectual than just plain intelligent.

© by WWD / Photos by Davide Maestri

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