What rain? What distance? All the complaints the fashion crowd might have had about reaching the Jil Sander location on the outskirts of Milan in the pouring rain were silenced the moment Lucie and Luke Meier sent their spring collection down the runway — hands down one of the highlights of the week.
In a grand set-up — a roofless white box in the middle of a field, with black sand on the floor and a wild garden of flowers, trees and greenery dividing the space inside — the designers went back to their early days at the brand by staging a coed show.
This was a display of fashion force, which exhibited the charm of the Meiers’ codes. Precision, a sense of ease and proportion, research into fabrics, crafty details and a unique color sensibility inform their approach.
For spring, the designers magnified these core elements while heightening the eccentricity they have been increasingly injecting into the brand. The approach fit with the collection’s theme, an exploration of the West Coast and California — a journey the Meiers started with the men’s resort 2023 range — and the duality between pragmatism and Hollywood glitz.
Working with elongated silhouettes, the duo offered relaxed takes on tailoring, including jackets and vests with generous single point lapels as well as lean, round-neck tank tops worn with roomy Bermuda pants or kilts. All these items made for a shared wardrobe across men’s and women’s, along with other staples such as high-waisted pleated trousers or cargo pants in fluid fabrics.
Embellishments followed: cascades of sparkly fringes, crystal embroideries and mirror appliqués in the shape of clouds (or perhaps puddles, given the rain) worked well on both genders. So did a thick crochet technique with sequins used on tank tops, minidresses and bags.
Feathers and chic, lightweight frocks with draped or pleated details added to the collection’s movement and rich texture, which peaked in the finale of sequined, fringed skirts worn with minimal tanks. Their swaying glory somehow seemed even more special as models gracefully held umbrellas under the gloomy sky.
“Nature wins every time,” commented Luke Meier about the weather. It wasn’t the only winner of the day.