The lovely and talented Kamila Brudzynska recently acquired the February 1996 issue of Vogue Paris including an article on Jil Sander to which Carine Roitfeld contributed. Kamila kindly translated the article from French to English for us to enjoy, along with providing the scans of the article. Merci mille fois, Kamila.
Jil Sander: Less Is More
Translation by Kamila Brudzynska
Her spring-summer '96 collection is a model of equilibrium. Jil Sander has the art and the way to develop simply modern fashion.
Three editors selected their favorite Jil Sander designs to develop according to their own style. Carine Roitfeld, freelance stylist and ex-Glamour stylist, chose a man's sweater in dark grey with a white mini skirt and a white coat with red shantung trousers. Designed by Mats Gustafson. Jil Sander says: "It is a square coat, made from a blend of wool and Panama straw — yes, straw hats are also made of this. We can sculpt this material, which I love because it is not fuzzy, because it is straight ahead, and it confers a strong but relaxed attitude. And just a little color with the trousers to shock."
The Private Eroticism of the White Marinière
"When I was younger, even before I started to work in fashion, I observed women and I always have told them they can be more beautiful. I wanted to bring out their beauty, the shape of their head, charm, strength. In the late Sixties, women dressed in a ridiculous way, everything was confused, especially in Germany. I may have been one of the first to try to define a woman of strength. There is always a tension in what I'm doing, tension between femininity and a certain androgyny. No tutus, no little girl, and especially not lady-ish."
Lady-ish? This is a German speaking, the blonde Jil Sander. Her first real fashion show took place seven years ago, in Milan; today, Jil Sander although based in Hamburg, has established herself as the international designer who sets the tone: a sleek and subtle style, which can not discover the secrets and the touch of rare and thoughtful fabrics, or the fitting — 40 jackets cut for every season, each cut in different proportions to the figure of each valued client. Long legs, short legs, long torso, square or small shoulders, young or not, you can find here each individuality. Jil Sander eats breakfast at Relais Plaza, next to her boutique, surrounded by women in clothes from couture tailors whose dogs wears outfits. She appears in sweater, trousers, flat shoes. This is her style, modern, almost muted, but a muted effect with a deep bass that shakes everything without the need for high notes.
"I need to work with quality fabrics, but modern quality, not quality… sweet. Cool wool, the man's fabrics, the man's sweaters, the quality which menswear has but it works as sexy. A feminine attitude, masculine fabrics. The fabric, it is a way of making the voice visible."
Marie-Amélie Sauvé, Vogue editor for 14 years, chose a cashmere turtleneck sweater with the viscose gabardine bermuda shorts, grained leather moccasins by Sergio Rossi, and the marinière with the simple shirt made of canvas cotton blend. All photographed by Michael Thompson and Laurie Bird. Jil Sander says: "I want women to be younger and fresher. The marinière is in cotton pique stretch, with a finish just like paper. It's cut to be close but it's stretch, so it moves with the body. It feels tight as a corset, it pinches but without adding curves."
Materials and Proportions
Franceline Orat, editor-in-chief of accessories and jewelry in Vogue for 18 years, selected the silk shantung pantsuit and the gabardine raincoat tied at the waist, accessorized with jewelry designed by Antoine Rivaud from the 1930s, by Lydia Courteille, and cultured pearls by Angela Pintaldi of the Joyce Gallery. Photographed by Daniel Jouanneau. Jil Sander says: "I like the brilliance of true silk shantung. I designed the pantsuit two years ago in organza, and then in silver fabric, last year in super rayon, now silk attracts me. The coat is in rayon — the kind which I found in Japan: the fabric is twisted which gives it a disturbing touch, toned, resistant but light.
Vogue Paris editorial images © 1996 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.