I bought this dress off Ebay last winter without knowing what I was actually getting. All I knew was that it was a flowy pink dress. Everyone whose opinions I asked was fervently protesting against it saying it was too loud and far from my ‘dark’ aesthetics (except the boyfriend, I could be wearing rags and he wouldn’t mind at all).
Mind you this was the very first piece of non-footwear from Jil Sander that I’ve owned, so I could never truly comprehend Raf’s genius before then. It was only when I held the dress in my hands that it truly dawned on me what they meant by Raf Simons being an intelligent designer. With strategically-placed zippers on the body and sleeves, what seemed to be a deceptively simple dress becomes a silhouette-changing garment. On moment it could be a kaftan, the next it will be a long, lean t-shirt.
I have to admit LVMH did a very good job in concealing Raf Simons’s move to Dior. All eyes were on Haider Ackermann right after Raf’s departure from Jil Sander. Was his 180 degree turn towards a bourgeois direction a hint of what was to come? Noone knows for sure but I have my reservations about his move. I love what he did for Jil Sander more than what Jil Sander herself did for the brand. While the latter binds herself so strongly in the realm of minimalism to the point of restricting the type of girls who would feel beautiful in her clothes, Raf’s approach to minimalism was more forgiving in the sense that someone like me who is neither blonde nor tall could feel like a million bucks. Remember his sculptural, vase-like collection with all the curly-wurly shapes? That, to me, is the peak of his career in Jil Sander.
One can only hope Jil Sander would bring something fresh to the table for her namesake brand. As for Dior, I don’t know if I can afford the price tag needed to attain Raf’s intelligent design once again.