Lampoon, Jil Sander, set

Tailoring made for self-expression: Jil Sander surrounds the individual with a knitwear effort

Lucie and Luke Meier present the Men’s Fall Winter 2022 collection as part of Paris Fashion Week. An urban inspiration merged with social and cultural changes

The focus on individuals in a constantly changing environment

Over the centuries, style has become the essence of wearing clothes to represent freedom of expression. In particular, the Romantic Movement of the early nineteenth century was a reaction to many cultural, social, and political developments. It shone a light on the individuality of an artist’s expression; a personal relationship with the environment, trust in emotion, and subjective experience. It is believed that individuals should be free from conforming to societal norms and expectations. 

Lord Byron considered individualism as the highest good and embraced the wildness and vivacity of nature. Not as the natural setting for man, but as the natural state of man’s soul.

In the same spirit, Jil Sander FW 2022 Menswear collection, offered the tools to be what individuals want to be. The show took place in the American Cathedral in Paris.

Something that lasts

With comfort and adaptability at the heart of their design, Lucie and Luke Meier spoke to the individual. They did this by merging dualities to provide the idea of establishing a blank canvas on which to build a sense of self for the evolution of individuality. «Today, people seem to be gaining a better appreciation of things – time, music, art. Most importantly, real freedom, individuality, and equality. We can improve the world. It’s a new now that requires ideas. A new way of thinking where the celebration of individuality is at the core of our design».

As the artistic duo explained, we are all different and constantly changing. People need to embrace a positive future and be more connected to real life. This was the primary inspiration for their latest collection. The Jil Sander wardrobe recalled its founder, with the minimalist design the directors still recognize. The label speaks personally to the designers who are connected with their values. «Today, a lot of things are very disposable: there’s so much out there», Lucie explained. «I like the idea of something that lasts. To create something that becomes part of your life and stays with you for a long time. And the aesthetic of the brand is still so modern, timeless, and alive. High quality as part of a lifestyle and not the other way around».

Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2022 Menswear collection – embracing post-pandemic self-expression

A lantern was suspended between the vaults and pillars of the American Cathedral on Avenue George V. The models walked to the soundtrack composed by experimental musician, Panda Bear, and his band, Animal Collective. Texture played a prominent role this season. Around a circular set, the Jil Sander fall character displayed contemporary tailoring, sharing Meier’s focus on discovering new knits, intarsia, and embroideries from the most refined silks and wools.

An individualism-proof collection including coats with double lapels and jackets filled with crocheted details. The color palette moves from white to black, mixed with ivory, sand, cocoa, steel blue, orange, and burgundy tones. The silhouettes were simultaneously structured and relaxed: sleeveless wool sweaters and vests joined tailored suits and patterned silk pajamas. As a symbol of individuality’s evolution, the creative designers made a graphic statement with hand drawings of astrology and zodiac signs knitted onto pullovers or printed on jackets and shirts around the collection. The variety of knitwear accentuates the desire for a mix of warmth and ease.

The urban inspiration met the social and cultural evolution

The collection speaks to a broader crowd, providing the tools necessary to craft a look. The urban inspiration met the social and cultural evolution, the variety of humanity together with the need of personal expression. «We feel it’s important that we present something that makes people feel good today and that accompanies the individuals in their growth. Masculine tailoring balanced with something a little bit more sensual».

The clean and boxy tailoring stood out, especially when enlivened with the peak lapels of a tuxedo. Finishing up the collection were pointy and squared zipped or elasticated boots, brooches, earrings, and scarves together with small rectangular tool bag-inspired shoulder cases, a large tote, and shopper bags.

What the Meiers aimed to bring to Jil Sander is a progressive yet thoughtful approach, articulated with intelligence in a narrative that is nuanced and consistent. The individual is still at the core of their ongoing research: «The person in its humanity and uniqueness is at the center of our creativity. After all, human beings are complex animals; our inspiration finds its way through a texture of emotions and connections, eclectic elegance and strong individuality».

Lampoon, Jil Sander, catwalk look
A look from the Jil Sander Men’s Fall 2022 Collection

Lucie and Luke Meier: the quest for individualism through design

When the couple arrived at Jil Sander in 2017, the house had been in a state of flux. Its founder, who founded it in Hamburg in 1968, sold a controlling stake of the company to the Prada Group in 1999. Over the next fourteen years, Sander would leave the brand multiple times, allowing for several creative directors in between, including Raf Simons from 2005 to 2012. 

They took over as joint creative directors from Rodolfo Paglialunga, who helmed the house for three years. The designers are separate entities; each creative in their own right whose professional paths crossed years after their personal lives became entwined. 

The husband-and-wife duo behind Jil Sander first met at the Florentine fashion school, Polimoda. Lucie was studying fashion marketing and Luke was on a six-month exchange program to learn to tailor. After a while, they took separate paths. Lucie went on to study fashion in Paris, working at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. This happened before being the creative director of Christian Dior. Luke met James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, becoming the design director for the streetwear label. Then, in 2014, he launched OAMC, which he describes as «a new luxury for men.» Together, Luke and Lucie Meier make for a couple different from each other but with complementary characteristics.. They share an understanding of global perspectives on things, relating to many various references while bringing them into their work.  

Minimalism: the current postmodern condition

By drawing perceptive parallels, they acknowledged schools of aesthetics and learned how just decisive their role was in deconstructing the complexities of human individuality in the current postmodern condition. Working together, they embarked upon this journey with the same intention. The quest for a timeless idea of minimalism and beauty, the same Sander built during the ‘80s and ‘90s. 

Their approach at Jil Sander has always been grounded in the present: what do people want to wear now? 
As the designers explained, we are all aware we don’t need any more clothes. «Whatever we create has to be special. It has to have emotional value, it has to be something you want to have for your whole life». Over the last two years, the brand focused on comfortable garments such. Exampleas are heavy-duty cashmere sweaters, knitted polo shirts, and overcoats. The Fall 2022 collection acknowledges the current reality. After being stuck in the same place for so long, with social media as our only real window to people-watching, it is time for the artistic duo to trigger the individuality they are hoping to experience in the street once again.

Luke and Lucie Meier

Luke and Lucie Meier, unveiled their Jil Sander Men’s Fall 2022 Collection in the American Cathedral in Paris. A celebration of individuality pursued further a minimal design and an experimentation on textiles. Astrology prints and zodiac embroideries add symbol of personality. 

Cecilia Falovo

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.