The audience stood and cheered for Raf Simons as he took his final bow at Jil Sander today. Then they continued to stand and cheer until the designer, overwhelmed by emotion, reappeared on the catwalk. An ovation and an encore: That is the very definition of a hard fashion act to follow.
Which is exactly as it should be, given what Simons has achieved in his seven years at Jil Sander. Never mind that this was the best collection he’d presented for the label. In light of the week’s events, there was an unwittingly bitter irony to the story it told. After last season’s women’s-world scenario, Simons wanted to celebrate a day in the life of a relationship, the pure and simple pleasure of two as one. But Raf’s no Pollyanna. He was equally engaged by the hard work it takes to maintain such an ideal. So he introduced chaos into his dream world. The most graphically significant element in his collection might have been the slash of shine that split open Julia Nobis’ strapless matte black sheath. Thus are hopes and dreams splintered.