Jil Sander Resort 2023 Menswear

Luke and Lucie Meier talked about “new beginnings, new worlds, looking into the future,” as the conceptual take on their Jil Sander men’s resort, an idea that certainly rhymes with a broader post-pandemic sentiment. But their IRL situation also influenced the collection’s feel for elevated utilitarian design.

The Meiers just relocated into a new apartment, which frames their current family life. With little Ella Rose contributing giggles and squeaks to the Zoom conversation, looking into the future isn’t just a romantic notion, but a very real commitment. Personal memories also played a part in the collection’s mood; Luke Meier grew up on the West Coast of the U.S., and what he described as its “cultural openness… [that it’s] possible to reset and build something totally new, even without much support,” stayed with him as a message particularly meaningful in today’s circumstances. With the world turning towards conservatism, repression of human rights, and restrictions on personal freedom, “that spirit of bravery in confronting difficult situations is what resonates most with what’s happening around us,” he said. “You have to be brave to face what’s outside your apartment, just to step outside the door sometimes you have to feel brave.”

The West Coast’s post-war attitude of self-invention, and “the idea of building and making something” translated into workwear, based on geometric, precise pattern-making and elevated into a sophisticated proposition through a sensibility of high-end luxury. Next to that, a more glamorous side “of what Hollywood feels like” was explored, filtered through the Meiers’ composure and subtle eye for refinement.

The utilitarian purity of practical garments, which they called “honest,” provided a canvas for experimenting with inventive takes on suiting and sartorial options. Kilts and skirts replaced bermudas, and were offered in long pleated versions worn with very simple vests, round-collared boxy t-shirts, or elongated tops; high-waisted pleated trousers in fluid wool were cut with generous proportions and paired with hard-pressed shirt-jackets, or with slender overcoats.

Jewelry punctuated the collection, giving it a sensitive touch of glamour and mitigating its rigorous approach. Strands of pearls decorated the neckline of double-faced cashmere vests; hammered-silver brooches were pinned on delicate silk knits; embroideries with glass beads on straight-cut shirting and iridescent sequined tops added sparkle. “It felt nice to be a bit more eccentric,” underlined Lucie.

On the same decorative note, hand-painted elements—a vintage cigarette lighter, a set of motel’s keys—were printed on boxy shirts; and the skinny silhouettes of palm trees lining long roads “as shot through a car window” were reproduced on jacquard knits or in fil coupé in dégradé colorways, conveying a sunset feeling and the romantic longing for a free-spirited life. “The idea of freedom that the West Coast gave to people at that time feels more necessary than ever, since the opposite is happening today,” concluded Luke. Hard to disagree with that.

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https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/resort-2023-menswear/jil-sander, Vogue

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