Mar 02, 2011 12:00AM

milan fashion week: jil sander

Backstage at Jil Sander!

Minimalism is a term that has been liberally bandied about these past few seasons. For Jil Sander, minimalism has always been the backbone of design ? a cornerstone of the label's identity, rather than just a trend. The label's Autumn Winter 2011 outing in Milan has asserted that there is more to minimalism than a smattering of subdued tones ? it's a matter of peerless tailoring and restrained elegance, but it can also be a bit playful.

Designer Raf Simons combined the sleek aesthetic of skiwear with haute couture elements to create a collection that was modern and polished. Streamlined body-conscious tailoring was lent relief with the light buoyancy of silk-nylon blouses and skirts filled with down.

The rich floral print used on a selection of outerwear injected exuberance into a collection largely composed of strong block primary colours. Eschewing cartoonish retro florals and liberty prints in favour of a sumptuous traditional print from French silk house Bucol, the collection was a consistent exercise in bright sophistication.

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Photos: Sonny Vandevelde

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Words: Lillian McKnight