Kate Phelan - February 2011 Vogue:
Freja Beha Erichsen + Patrick Demarchelier + Jil Sander = Minimalistic Magic
The SS 2011 Jil Sander show took place on a plain white runway and opened with a plain white t-shirt and a plain white billowing skirt. It was minimalism - the trademark look of Jil Sander.
However, Raf Simons, being the master of minimalism that he is, merely used this as a template for the unexpected collection that followed. As opposed to repeating the use of monochrome of his previous collections, he embraced colour. He embraced colour just as a mother embraces a child, after they have been travelling - in an excited squeeze of intrigue.
Indeed, the result was so intriguing that it would seem, for one moment, that Simons 'squeezed' the colour out of every other SS 2011 show - but then we are reminded of the blue of Blumarine's collection and the portion of fruit that Prada provided and, as a result, we are thankful that Jil Sander is not the only designer label delving into colour this SS.
Unlike Simons, many minimalists avoid colour. Colour is fussy, black and white are not. Colour clashes, black and white do not. However, as Simons has discovered, colour lifts what some deem to be a 'boring' look. It captivates the inquisitive eye and emphasises the detail involved in the manufacturing of minimalism. The skirt, featured above, could swathe unnoticed if white, however, in its delectable shade of tangerine it demands your attention. What's more is that, with Simons' eye for detail, it deserves it. The whole Jil Sanders collection deserves it: whether it be in blue, pale pink or an amalgamation of colours, each item of clothing is stunning.
It's magnificent, isn't it? Even his colour blocking is magnificent - the colours clash and yet somehow under the magic of Simons' needle, they work. The neon pink and mint green are like David Cameron and Nick Clegg, they shouldn't agree with each other but occasionally, when put together, they do and, in the case of Jil Sander, the result is genius.
Moreover, the minimalism of Simons' clothing adds to the beauty of it; it manages to look effortless in its intricacy, as is shown in Demarchelier's photograph for Vogue. The background is plain, Erichsen sports a plain white t-shirt and the make-up artist, Val Garland, only embellishes the look with a red lip, with the result that the focus cannot deter from Erichsen. It cannot deter from Erichsen and the floor length, tangerine Jil Sander skirt that envelops her, with its delicate puffball ruffle. The look achieved is minimalism with a spoonful of colour and it is the perfect look for the S/S 2011. Are you ready ladies? - because quite frankly I am.