by Stephen Garner

The vision that Lucie and Luke Meier have brought to Jil Sander after three years as creative directors is finding its stride.

Modern tailoring and utility centers the label’s spring/summer 2021 menswear collection. Trench coats – single or double-breasted, jackets – slightly elongated, and shirt-jackets – with large front pockets, in Japanese cottons and wools, are rectangular, and pristine in build. Invisible buttons accentuate their cleanliness. Yet the waist is softly underlined by foulard belts or tool and waist bags. Their sleeves can be shortened by simply removing small metal loop rings. Detachable collars, some printed with short, evocative sentences about nature and its cycles, can transform them in look and feel.

Crewneck poplin tops substitute collared shirts underneath the jackets. The neckline, as the image of the whole collection, is clean. The simple cotton aprons, plain or printed with large letter texts, suggest functionality.

Compact and airy, knitwear is also important this season, it’s soft, experimental, layered, hand-made, and extremely refined. Jacquard and crochet intarsia give depth to sweaters in raw white cotton. Various densities are present and cable knits are overlaid with voile and hand-embroidered to frame the stitch texture underneath. Connections are delicate, detailed, textured, tactile. Sharp graphic coloring contrasts rich knit structures.

Trousers are either neatly tailored in Japanese wools or cut in crisp, paper-touch cotton, with large pockets. Light in substance and form. A relaxed attitude is also expressed in a black viscose hooded zip-through jacket and trouser with contrasting white stitches, and in the foulards which can be transformed into hoods. Or in a new interpretation of the utility jacket: squared and built associating smooth muted green leather with cotton canvas in complementary tones of black.

The color palette features a myriad of shades of white, which grow into pale grey, yellow, lilac, and green. Black and sage green-grey are primarily used in tailoring. Accents of vivid blues, reds, and grass greens appear in knitwear and around necklines.

Utilitarian bags this season are rectangular, elongated, thin handbags in black or sand leather. An enlarged, black shoulder bag in recycled nylon. A multi-pocket leather wallet held with a wrist band. Dimensional or flat waist bags. Oversized starched canvas bags carry printed motifs. Squared leather totes have strong geometric volumes.

Sturdy textured vulcanized shoes in leather or canvas and structured boots, zipped or laced, firmly ground the silhouette.