Au Revoir

Au Revoir

As beautiful as the seven bouquets arranged in perspex cases were (they're the handiwork of Antwerp-based florist Marc Calle apparently), they felt needlessly funereal at Raf Simons' finale show for Jil Sander today.  I suppose they could be celebratory as well, with each bouquet representing a year of Simons' tenure at Jil Sander.  The final standing ovation and the tears, genuine on the part of Simons, weirdly false when it came to certain members of the audience, too contributed to the atmosphere where we felt pressurised to mourn the loss of Simons.  Was I the only one that was a little giddy, feeling like this finale was brimming with possibility?   

Yes, it is an end of an era but it's also the beginning of an exciting trajectory of Simons' career.  Wherever he goes or does will still be hugely influential to fashion, as his contribution to Jil Sander has been for the past seven years.  I guess I never saw Raf Simons, as someone who was deadlocked to the brand of Jil Sander, despite the magnificent work he has done there and instead, he could well leave an influential imprint at two or three more places should he wish. Not that there I'm saying the show should have been devoid of emotion but let's tone down the dramatics and start anticipating what's around the corner – Raf Simons is well and alive and has the ability to take his skill and vision and apply them to any number of houses in addition to continue doing so for his own brand (Raf Simons womenswear – imagine that eh?).  It is an end of sorts but also a new beginning for Simons as well as for Jil Sander, which will see the return of the brand's founder.  Something else to get excited about.   






The collection itself was in fact a delicate continuation of what Simons has been exploring for the past three seasons – exploring mid twentieth century couture through a sharply finessed looking glass.  The delicacy of lingerie-inspired palette steered clear from what's going on in the rest of the season and had most of us swooning at how Simons had progressed to a point where he's comfortable with conveying ultra femininity in his work.  It was difficult to get away from the Dior allusions, especially in the use of gravity defying volume, best seen in the coats that the models clutched together at the chest and in the gathers of fabric around the hip in synthesised corset dresses.  If we have been reading it correctly, that Simons has been "auditioning" for the creative director role at Dior and if it is to be that Avenue Montaigne will indeed be his next workplace, then we can get REALLY excited about what's around the corner.  Imagine some of these dresses in a Dior show.  

I'll stop at that wild speculation and say that I also did find myself reminiscing over some of the key moments of Simons' collections for Jil Sander – the S/S 08 sunset colours, the ripped textures of S/S 10, the flat boots and short shift dresses proposed in A/W 10-11 and then the onslaught of stellar collections from S/S 11 to S/S 12.  These collections filtered down to real shifts in the way women dressed and there is no doubt that Simons will continue creating these shifts.  This show wasn't an adieu, but an au revoir, as in we'll be seeing Simons again.    















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  1. mouse

    2012-02-25 at 5:58 PM

    the flowers are definitely creepy.

  2. a la mode

    2012-02-25 at 6:02 PM

    Beautifully said, Suis! I can’t wait to see what the next steps will be for both houses.

  3. Jane

    2012-02-25 at 6:12 PM

    poignant end of one chapter and the exciting beginning of another great post!

  4. Palepepper

    2012-02-25 at 8:43 PM

    The last dress is so wonderful. Excited for what is to come!

  5. jenny (penniless zen)

    2012-02-26 at 1:53 AM

    I definitely see the flowers as funereal. I would love one of those coats. Flawless.

  6. beatrice

    2012-02-26 at 3:08 AM

    I think I might be the only person not excited for Simons possibly doing Dior. Not to say that I don’t like Raf; my goodness, I’m slightly obsessed with him and I wish I could have been at the show, as even the lousy youtube video of this final collection almost brought me to tears. But Dior demands a certain Parisian glamour and sophisticated ornamentation. In the post-Galliano context, I’m not sure whether Raf Simons would fill this void that’s getting more and more hyped every day that goes by. He’s too subtle to be wasted on delivering frilly, frivolous Dior chic. He designed so brilliantly within the Jil Sander aesthetic, so much that I don’t even know whether the founder will be able to follow this gorgeous swan song.
    I guess I’m sadder than I should be as Raf is still very much alive. But he worked wonders at Jil Sander and I can’t help thinking that it’s the end of an era.

  7. LaBella Luxe

    2012-02-26 at 5:15 AM

    Love the clothes in all the pictures.

  8. Yuka

    2012-02-26 at 10:32 AM

    what a perfect collection <3

  9. annie

    2012-02-26 at 5:43 PM

    The clothes look very Balenciaga…

  10. maya.autumn

    2012-02-26 at 7:24 PM

    mmmm tasty! Apart from the flowers… they look somewhat trapped and about to die or something:( (even though they’re bright)xx

  11. Jane Alisa

    2012-02-26 at 8:51 PM

    The flowers are beautiful and of course a beautiful final collection by Raf. The jackets are wonderful xoxo

  12. style-attack

    2012-02-28 at 4:24 PM

    I agree with you partially. Of course Raf Simons period in Jil Sander was the best since the establishment of the House and I doubt too if there will be a same one after him.
    But, you see Dior as it is now, after Galliano. And in m opinion Dior of the pro-Galliano era had nothing to do with this. I personally miss the old chic Dior, the New Look Dior not the Galliano Dior that I never managed to like…
    And Raf Simons is definitely the tailor who can bring back this old prestige to the  legendary House.

  13. fashionind

    2012-05-23 at 4:40 AM

    Amazing look – as always, and amazing photos – as always! Beautiful!

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