Show report: Jil Sander A/W’12

Raf Simons’ last show for Jil Sander after seven years as creative director was always going to be one to watch and his A/W'12 collection on day four of Milan Fashion Week proved a stunning farewell

Raf Simons’ last show for Jil Sander after seven years as creative director was always going to be one to watch and his A/W’12 collection on day four of Milan Fashion Week proved a stunning farewell.

The excitement in the Via Beltrami was palpable as we took our pews around the Perspex plinths filled with flowers – a nod to the girlie-yet-modern collection that was to come.

From achingly gorgeous Grace Kelly-inspired pastel coats and creamy cashmere jumpers to shiny black PVC dresses and coats, Simons pulled off another collection of exciting, fresh looks. Structured, architectural dresses with enlarged pockets on one side came in bubble gum pink, putty and cream. Diamond-shaped cut outs adorned otherwise conservative royal blue frocks under oversized pillar-box red coats.

The rest of the look for AW12 was simple: A slicked-back low ponytail, pale skin, red lips and bare eyes. A bright and pretty aesthetic that offers a little light relief in a season of unusually dark collections.

Simons’ finale was met with a standing ovation and the catwalk equivalent of stage invasion, with crowds of well-wishers surging onto the runway. Stepping outside afterwards into the unseasonably balmy afternoon, a steel band had started up somewhere nearby and there was a celebratory feeling in the air. Wherever Raf Simons goes next, he can be sure of a very warm welcome.

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