On the Runway

Milan Fashion Week: Ski Couture at Jil Sander

It’s hump day at Milan Fashion Week, halfway through and time for one of it’s most anticipated shows, Jil Sander. I wonder how Jil herself must feel as her namesake collection is more celebrated than ever, but under the direction of designer Raf Simons. Fashion editors love it judging by all of the neon in the room from last season and we all adored today’s show. It was, by far, my favourite of the season.

The soundtrack is howling wind to set the stage for the reimagined skiwear. Stirrup pants? Again? They looked fabulous, especially with the stirrup threaded through the boot’s wedge heel. It was all sleek chic with hooded ski sweaters (think ’50s Gstaad) in techno knits, molded short jackets and felted wool oversized toppers. I’d never thought of how ski could translate with a couture accent but Simons pulled it off brilliantly. The duchesse satin coats with voluminous backs and down-filled evening gowns were reminiscent of Cristobal Balenciaga. Vivid blue and berry contrasted sharply with black but I was entranced by the teal and heathered grey. The models’ hair and makeup also combined couture elements with high-tech active accents. Tornado-style buns were lacquered in place. I could see this style working equally well with a couture gown. The makeup, teal eyeliner was matched with orange lips, would suit a racy apres-ski lover. It was a superb collection–mid-century couture elements have never looked more modern. Glorious!