Document Magazine – 9 mai 2018

How Prada’s music producer Frédéric Sanchez landed on 90s classics for their 2019 Resort show

Text by
Megan Wray Schertler

How Prada’s music producer Frédéric Sanchez landed on 90s classics for their 2019 Resort show
Prada Resort 2019 Show at Piano Factory, NYC. Photograph by Griffin Lipson/BFA.com. Copyright BFA.
The music producer crafted a show soundtrack inspired by timelessness and Daft Punk for Prada’s 2019 Resort show.

As one of the biggest show music producers in fashion, Frédéric Sanchez has created show music pieces for the biggest names in the fashion industry since his first live show gig for Maison Martin Margiela show in 1988. Ahead of the first Prada’s 2019 Cruise show in New York—its first in the city after a 20-year absence—Miuccia Prada tapped Sanchez, a long-time collaborator with the designer to provide a soundscape for the show that was unquestionably 90s—think lots of Daft Punk and R.E.M. Document spoke with Sanchez backstage at the designer’s headquarters, a former piano factory on West 52nd Street, following the show’s noisy melange of technical fabrics, loud prints, and graphic logos placed front and center.

Document—How did you land on this particular musical direction for the show?

Frederic—When Mrs. Prada and I started talking about the collection, we were feeling nostalgic for certain things that we did in the 90s. There was also a hint of the psychedelic. This season the word we kept returning to was “timeless” and the idea of being without any references, which is kind of completely the opposite of what I was saying five minutes ago. That’s why we used a few pieces of music that felt very iconic from that time, like the first record from the French band Daft Punk that came out around that time. We both said, “This is so iconic that it does not feel old.”

Document—What was the specific mix?

Frederic—I used two specific songs from that record [1997’s Homework], but I kept only the rhythm, and we remixed in a way that makes it even more contemporary. Then, we had three songs mixed with this a track from the film Donnie Darko, Gary Jules’s ‘Mad World’, and then the song ‘Wake Up’ from a band called Mad Season. It’s two musicians, one from a band called Alice in Chains from the grunge era, and another one from Pearl Jam. Then, we used an R.E.M. song.

“I think it’s very difficult to look at what is happening in the current moment because there’s so too much of everything. I think the only way to create something that resonates is to go deeply into yourself.”

Document—What was the R.E.M. song that you used?

Frederic—The R.E.M. song is The One I Love. It’s from an unplugged record.

Document—A total classic.

Frederic—Yes! So very classic songs and very romantic in a way. The obvious thing would have been to use the electronic sounds from Daft Punk to open the show, but we used the song from Donnie Darko, which is a very, very romantic thing. Then, suddenly, you have that clash with the very strong electronic beat coming in. So, it’s really these two things that are clashing through the whole show.

Document—It’s impossible to tell whether something will stand the test time without substantial distance. R.E.M. is a really great example of that. I feel like they hit the peak of their pop-stardom in the 90s then kind of fell out of favor as the decade came to a close. But, I think a lot of their music sounds really fresh now when you revisit it.

Frederic—Yes, yes. And also because the personality of the person that made them, you know? When you think about Michael Stipe or Kurt Cobain, they have become icons. Icons don’t die. [Laughs]

Document—I think they start to mean different things to different generations.

Frederic—I think it’s very difficult to look at what is happening in the current moment because there’s so too much of everything. I think the only way to create something that resonates is to go deeply into yourself.

Document—To let intuition guide you.

Frederic—Exactly, yes. It makes it personal and sensitive.

Document—Mrs. Prada must be a fantastic person to collaborate with in that case. I feel like intuition is very much a tool she uses to navigate each season.

Frederic—Completely. It’s fantastic because she pushes you to go deeply into what you want to create and what you think.

Document—How early do you start working on the soundtracks for the shows?

Frederic—I work for Prada all year long, so I am researching all the time for them, but I called them maybe two weeks ago to discuss music for this show. The process really starts the moment when they put the clothes together and do the fittings, so like a week before the show. I arrived in New York on the Monday before the show and was there everyday. When making the soundtrack for the live event, I always like to use existing music because it’s almost like the effect of perfume. I can transfer emotion through references. There’s a sort of romanticism and poetry to the songs. The rhythm tells you something about modern things, architecture—the modern world as we know it.

Business Of Fashion – 7 mai 2018

Miuccia Prada’s Mad World

For Prada’s first cruise show in New York, its filter was turned up to the max. The designer proposed new silhouettes and details that moved far away from today’s overwrought trends, providing an urgent, necessary relief from tired fashion.

BY LAUREN SHERMAN

NEW YORK, United States — Years ago, Prada bought an old piano factory here in Manhattan, far, far in the West 1950s. It was a dead zone back then. Now, the neighbourhood is filling up with luxury apartment buildings and vaguely chic restaurants, populated with New Yorkers thrilled to have escaped cramped quarters in denser parts of the city.

Prada, too, has settled in to what it is now its US corporate headquarters, with enough room to accommodate a runway: an entire empty, brutal, concrete floor. On Friday evening, the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron lined the windows of the space, where Miuccia Prada showed her Cruise 2019 collection, with red plexiglass, offering a new lens on those west side views. New York through the Prada filter. This is only the second time the house has made the resort season an event — the first was last year at home in Milan — and the choice to show here was a statement, albeit a quieter one than many destination shows. It was about the significance of the US to its commercial business, which it says is picking up after years of lag, but also to its identity.

The show’s soundtrack opened with Michael Andrews and Gary Jules’ wrenching cover of “Mad World.” With a song as dark as that, the models instantly felt like real, actual teenagers, wearing narrow slip dresses and ruffle-edged minis. After the show, Prada described the collection as “contemporary,” although much of its relevance came from referencing her own work from the 1990s. She also roped in other ideas from the era: In particular, the iconic photograph of Kate Moss in a Jean Paul Gaultier fur trapper hat taken by Steven Klein for Harper’s Bazaar.

“It’s my vision of what’s real and what you want to wear today,” she said. “But it’s always a fantasy.”

Perhaps that’s why she said she can’t resist returning time and again to her famous upholstery florals and geometric patterns in saturated hues so specific to her palette. And with good reason: few designers’ archives transcend eras so successfully. But this wasn’t a nostalgic collection. Instead, Prada proposed ideas that will, thankfully, move the fashion conversation forward: a belt slung low, skirts that falls far above the knee, spaghetti-strap tanks, an empire waist. Certain details — a mullet ruffle on a pair of elongated floral brocade trousers, an engineered knit fuzzy like static on an old television, a reinterpretation of the logo fit for the cover of a graphic novel — were tiny but impactful. What a relief to know something new is coming.

But Prada has never lacked relevance on the runway. The staggering number of thinking-person celebrities — including Ava Duvernay, Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson and David O. Russell, as well as designer fanboys Raf Simons and Marc Jacobs — sitting front row indicates that her work holds important place in the broader culture. They wanted to be there. Will company itself finally be able to take that good will, that admiration, that adoration, and sell in a way that is as contemporary as the work? There’s certainly plenty of material.

Le Monde – 7 mars 2018

Paris Fashion Week, c’est fini !

En clôture de la fashion week parisienne, trois grandes maisons, Chanel, Miu Miu et Louis Vuitton, ont tonifié une saison de défilés un peu terne.

Le marathon des fashion weeks vient de prendre fin à Paris, dernière étape d’une saison qui ressemble davantage à un moment de transition qu’à un grand cru. Mardi 6 mars, pour la dernière journée, trois des plus grands noms de l’industrie se sont partagé la conclusion de débats vestimentaires. Ceux-ci ont beaucoup tourné autour de la féminité, du féminisme et du droit des femmes. Ces trois shows sont les trois derniers points de vue sur le sujet de la saison.

Chanel.
Chez Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld fait peu de discours. Sa collection parle pour lui, célèbre un raffinement moderne, une idée de la féminité sophistiquée et libre dans un décor atmosphérique qui rappelle un roman d’Ivan Tourgueniev. L’odeur des feuilles mortes accueille les invités dans une forêt légèrement brumeuse où ne manquent que les croassements des corneilles. Les longs manteaux droits en tweed aux épaules ajustées, les vestes à la taille appuyée et à basques qui se terminent en pointes, les cols montants « à la Karl » (le couturier porte les mêmes), les grands pantalons en cuir matelassé sous des vestes amples à quatre poches signent une allure souple, confortable et fidèle aux codes Chanel.

Du manteau à capuche et imprimé feuilles aux longues jupes or éteint, tout est enveloppant mais sans lourdeur. Les effets de volume, millionième variation sur les lignes des tailleurs Chanel traditionnels, sont particulièrement réussis et servent d’ossature à toute la collection. Longue jupe corolle, maxi-veste trapèze, petites épaules légèrement aiguës, tout est millimétré sans jamais être contraignant. Ces femmes qui avancent d’un bon pas dans ce bois clair incarnent une vision positive et décidée de la féminité. Leur vestiaire très luxe et facile à porter est un vecteur de liberté d’expression subtile et pas un exercice de mode qui les contraindrait à rentrer dans un moule.

Miu Miu.
Miuccia Prada a formé chez Miu Miu un club de « bad girls » réjouissantes. Entre les murs du Conseil économique et social, l’austérité architecturale est contrebalancée par de grands panneaux suspendus comme des fanions, imprimés de dessins mi-lettrines mi-portraits de femmes. Celles qui arrivent sur le podium sur une bande-son rock parfaitement calibrée par Frédéric Sanchez évoquent à la fois la vamp rockabilly Wanda Woodward du film Cry-Baby et les princesses punk rock à la Poison Ivy, la guitariste des Cramps. Ajoutez un peu d’Amy Winehouse et de style années 1980, et c’est parti pour une parade de filles piquantes mais sympathiques en chaussettes mohair et talons vernis.

Des pantalons et blousons en jean neige aux imperméables froncés de cuir de couleur en passant par les tweeds « sixties » et les robes à fleurs près du corps, tout est porté par des mannequins aux cheveux crêpés et aux silhouettes globalement plus pulpeuses que la moyenne des podiums. On a retrouvé la femme Miu Miu fraîche et fun, nourrie de culture pop, qui avait disparu la saison dernière.

Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton présentait sa collection dans la cour Lefuel du Louvre, habituellement inaccessible au public et recouverte pour l’occasion d’un sol façon vaisseau spatial. Le lieu a certes du cachet, mais présente aussi des inconvénients : il est très exigu, les trop nombreux invités ont du mal à trouver leur place, surtout que le parterre de célébrités (Michelle Williams, Noomi Rapace, etc.) en prend beaucoup.

La collection, elle, marque un retour de Nicolas Ghesquière à des formes plus simples, un glissement stylistique vers une silhouette de néobourgeoise qui pourrait beaucoup plaire à Brigitte Macron, très souvent habillée par le designer. Ses vestes brodées de métallerie or, ses gilets bicolores boutonnés sur une robe et ses effets monochromes évoquent un classicisme auquel on n’était guère habitué. Les blouses façon sweat-shirts en patchworks de matières et les hauts corsetés qui mêlent motifs sixties et soie argent renvoient aux goûts plus expérimentaux du créateur, ceux qui l’ont fait connaître quand il officiait chez Balenciaga. La prochaine saison en dira plus sur cette nouvelle femme Vuitton.

M le magazine du Monde – Mars 2018

Business Of Fashion – 4 mars 2018

Comme des Garçons’ Celebration of Artificiality

Rei Kawakubo sticks her finger in the wind and nails the moment, demonstrating the enduring outsider status of camp.

BY TIM BLANKS

PARIS, France — Something felt very different at the Comme des Garçons show on Saturday.​ ​Before we’d even slipped through the red curtains that swathed the entrance, Adrian Joffe, Rei Kawakubo’s husband, had said the key word of the new collection was CAMP. As in the joyous celebration of artificiality that Susan Sontag nailed in her sensational 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”. Joffe added that Kawakubo wanted a theatre as the venue for her new show. Curtains, too. Inside, there was more red velvet, with two huge theatrical klieg lights suspended above the catwalk.

So that was before the show. Afterwards, Kawakubo greeted guests with a warm handshake and a “Thank you for coming.” No longer the inscrutable sphinx. Instead, she said, “I wanted people to be happy.” They were. Deliriously so.

What happened in between was one of those intermittently prescient situations where Rei Kawakubo sticks her finger in the wind and nails the moment. Going back to Sontag for an instant, she wrote in 1964, “Camp is the consistently aesthetic experience of the world. It incarnates the victory of ‘style’ over ‘content’, ‘aesthetics’ over ‘morality’, of irony over tragedy.” What Kawakubo extracted from Sontag’s words was a feeling that camp could embody an enduringly rebellious spirit, in defiance of hidebound orthodoxy. So her collection was exactly the joyous celebration of artificiality that Sontag wrote of.

The music was Nino Rota’s soundtrack for Federico Fellini’s film La Strada, detailing the tragic travails of a travelling circus. Then it was the operatic drama of Profokiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Emotional, big, in other words. And the bigness carried over into the clothes: massed petticoats, polka-dotted lumps and bumps, rolls of fabric making huge rosettes, a glittering red showgirl outfit dissected and mounted like a trophy on a red tulle foundation, a big fairytale STAR, and a huge mille-feuille of fabric which brought to mind the fairytale of the princess and the pea. Articulated pieces moved like tectonic plates as the models walked. Theatrical sumptuousness prevailed.

At the end of the show, the models held hands as they lined up along the stage, like a cast taking a bow while the audience clapped themselves senseless. That reaction vindicated Kawakubo in her conviction that Sontag was right about camp. If, as Rei believes, the original rebel yell of punk has lost its guts, camp prevails with its enduring outsider status. “It can express something deeper and can give birth to progress,” she said. Maybe that’s what we were looking at. There is no doubt that a spirit of aesthetic excess seems like an inspirational response to the dark, goatish machinations of male power-mongers.

Vogue UK – 1er Mars 2018

Carven women’s fall winter 2018 19

by ANDERS CHRISTIAN MADSEN

You could recap the Carven show in its soundtrack. Mixed by Frédéric Sanchez, whose love of a mainstream pop song in a fashion show can be a rare gift on day 23 of the gruelling show season, it had all the louche beats of a high-fashion score. But here and there, almost like she was bursting through a barrier, Rihanna’s voice came through loud and clear, in “Love the Way You Lie”. At Carven, Serge Ruffieux, who came from the hallowed haute couture halls of Christian Dior, is posed with the challenge of bringing those values to a mid-market customer. In his sophomore collection, much like that soundtrack, he created a silhouette that borrowed from artisanal codes but constructed it in humble materials. “When I start a collection I always start on the body. I try to find a new proportion; a new silhouette,” he said. “It’s grounded, versatile, uplifting. Versatile, because it’s important to me to mix raw fabrics with something refined.”

It was expressed most palpably in garments hybridising two familiar pieces, like a jacket half quilted and half plaid, structured to kick out at the back in a couture-like gesture. Or how about a mid-market tweed suit so sculpted it looked like it had been statuesquely cast on the body? This is a designer, who knows what he’s doing. Ruffieux understands the social media era’s peculiar balance between mainstream commerciality and the desire for one-of-a-kind things that bear the touch of a real human hand. It’s reflected in the limited edition streetwear kids queue up for outside cult brand stores, in personalised phone covers, or the countless videos from haute couture shows that make the rounds online. Beautifully made fashion is no longer the privilege of the few, and in his interpretation of an accessible and attainable brand like Carven, Ruffieux captures that mentality pretty effortlessly. “The message is real clothes for real women,” he said. “That’s very important to me.”

Business Of Fashion – 26 février 2018

Marni

A Plurality of Women at Marni

There is a fundamental naiveté in Francesco Risso’s approach, as well as an effort to impose order on chaos, like a kid making sense of the world.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — “Elementary, my dear Watson,” said Sherlock Holmes as he unpicked a web of clues to solve another case. Francesco Risso loved the notion of building a collection the same way: clues, codes, signs, a solution. And, like Sherlock, he also described the process as elementary.

But that is the fundamental naiveté of Risso’s approach to Marni. On the one hand, there were the raw hems, the dangling threads and primitive top-stitching, the exaggerated proportions, the flagrant colour scheme (“women screaming with colour,” he said). Elementary. On the other, there was the effort to impose order on chaos, like a kid making sense of the world. We sat on tightly wrapped bales of bedding and clothes. “After the men’s show, I liked the idea of controlling the waste of stuff,” said Risso. Instead of the fur that Marni’s business was founded on, there was an impressive topcoat cut from the felt blankets removal men use for packing. Recycling, connecting with the natural world…he liked that idea too. “Nature brings us into primitivism,” he added. His models wore peacock feathers trailing dramatically from their ears.

It was the second time this week that Victor Frankenstein — the literary inspiration for anyone engaged in the act of roughly stitching new life together – reared his head. Alessandro Michele is engaged on a similar project at Gucci. Risso talked about a “Siamese union, » as in twins conjoined. The essence of the collection was that half-and-half: a coat that was half green python, half black leather, another that was industrial felting and hot pink wool. There were schizophrenic dresses that felt sophisticated on this side, turned inside out to lining on that. In one of those naïve leaps of inspiration that seem to be characteristic of Risso, he extended the idea of the Siamese into a whiskery cat motif for coats and jackets. Soundtrackist Frederic Sanchez complemented it with a recording of opera singers’ warm-up exercises. They apparently “miaow” over and over again. Weird and wonderful.

« If this was a movie, it would be called ‘The I, the We, The Army of Me,' » said Risso. We rocked back on our heels and thought about that for a moment. Fortunately, there were shownotes to clarify. “The individual and the collective. Being one and safety in numbers. A plurality of women…”

There was joy and fun in Risso’s Marni, but there was a message too.

Business Of Fashion- 25 février 2018

Jil Sander

Quiet Optimism at Jil Sander

By Tim Blanks

In their second show for Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Meier projected this season’s running themes of protection and safety into the future, to a life beyond all this chaos.

MILAN, Italy — Running themes throughout this season have been protection and safety, logical responses to the climate of crisis that is wracking the present. But, in their second show for Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Meier projected those ideas into the future, to a life beyond all this chaos. Or at least a future as it was imagined by the past, particularly in the sci-fi classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where a spiritual rebirth was achieved by transcendence over technology. Luke admitted to a nostalgia for that future. “It’s possible again,” he said optimistically.

So maybe the serene beauty of the collection could be construed as quiet optimism. The models were cocooned in monochrome, white, black, grey, but also head-to-toe cerulean, tomato and celadon. Some of them carried baby duvets. Others were swaddled in them. Softness reigned supreme. “The fabrics cocoon on their own,” said Luke. Even a corset detail came in felt, softening the idea of restriction.

The other decorative element was a wallpaper-y print which, woven in purple lurex, had a rococo edge. I thought of the room where the astronaut David Bowman ends up in “2001,” surrounded by relics of human civilisation. That may sound like an Ingrid-it’s-only-a-movie stretch, but it wasn’t so far off what the Meiers were thinking too. As much as there was a spirit of optimism, there was inevitably the melancholy that attaches itself to nostalgia. You scarcely needed Leonard Cohen croaking “Bird on a Wire” on the soundtrack to remind you of that. Equally melancholic: the square of white plastic that accompanied the invitation. As a reminder of environmental crisis, it unwittingly amplified the point the Meiers were making about the need for a new consciousness.

Sidebar: like Missoni earlier in the day, the Jil Sander show was maximally enhanced by showing the men’s and women’s collections together. Compatibility to the power of 2!

févr. 262018

Business Of Fashion- 24 février 2018

Prada On the Edge

Miuccia Prada showed a collection founded on oppositions, extreme power and extreme femininity — where sweetness read as a disguise, a distraction and a dare.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — The exhibition that currently takes up most of the space at the Fondazione Prada covers the years when Mussolini was in power in Italy. It has an aching timeliness with its detailing of the impact that an autocratic popinjay can have on popular culture. “My thoughts are influencing the Fondazione,” Miuccia Prada declared after her show on Thursday night. It made sense to assume some connection between what she is showing in her galleries, and what she showed on her catwalk.

It was a sensational idea, if not particularly elevating. What it makes clear is how much creativity suffered under Fascism. “When things are getting bad, even art disappears,” Miuccia acknowledged. “And what worries me for the art, worries me for the fashion.” But that has sparked a quiet fury in her. “We have to be ready to identify and respond,” she added. So what she showed were clothes for women who were ready to resist. It made for a collection founded on oppositions: extreme power and extreme femininity. Paillettes, tulle petticoats and bows in the same outfit as padded tech pieces. “My excuse for the show was the freedom of a woman in the night, super-sexy without being bothered.” I believe I heard Miuccia say that. “How to be powerful and still be feminine.”

Laudable. It reminded me of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, » a movie a whole lot more people should see, if only because it couches the #TimesUp debate — and its partner #MeToo — in such primal, incontrovertible terms. “#MeToo? I think about it since so many years,” said Miuccia. “It’s time to really make it happen.”

Maybe this collection was her contribution to facilitation. There was a lot of sweet prom dress girliness balanced on ankle socks and heels — there was even a manga flapper, sheathed in electric filaments — but it was matched to bulky tweeds and sporty nylons, hyper-protective. There was even a variation of the sanitation worker that Raf Simons offered at Calvin Klein. Defensive, vaguely apocalyptic. In that context, the sweetness, in embroidered tulle veils, read as a disguise, a distraction, a dare. You hardly needed Bill Murray and Wes Anderson in the front row to underline the depth of irony in such a notion. And the discombobulating layering of Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack — Blondie, Bryan Ferry, Tom Waits — only added to the dislocated mood.

The show took place in the top floors of a recently completed tower in the Fondazione Prada compound. In the arid industrial space below were mounted neons of Prada iconography: The bananas! The monkey! It’s the art of Prada to make you feel on the edge of something. She did it again.

Vogue UK – 22 février 2018

11 Epic Prada Sets We Loved

by ELISA CARASSAI

MILAN Fashion Week rolls round again, and anticipation is mounting for the Prada show. But it’s not just about the clothes – we’re just as eager to see the sets. A long-standing collaborator with Rem Koolhaas’ design studio, AMO (it also designed Fondazione Prada in Milan), Miuccia Prada has, since 2007, been welcoming her guests with scenographic theatres of all types at Prada HQ on Via Fogazzaro, minus a couple of exceptions. Her most recent pre-fall show, for instance, was held in the warehouse that holds pending artworks for Fondazione Prada, causing fashion insiders to speculate on this season’s location. Here, we relive 11 spectacular sets that still pack a visual punch.

Autumn/winter 2013 menswear: « The Ideal House »
This was the season that AMO studio collaborated with American-German company Knoll on a series of design objects for the ‘ideal home’, with an interior populated with geometric furniture, objects and manifestations of everyday life, with screens that featured interior and exterior views onto a cityscape.

Spring/summer 2014 menswear: « Menacing Paradise »
Conceived by AMO studio as an abstract representation of a small town, the spring menswear set was lined with murals of tropical palm trees, sunsets, helicopters and « menacing » shapes. Helicopters whirled on the soundtrack to add to the threatening mood.

Spring/summer 2014: « In the Heart of the Multitude »
Artists came together to collaborate with Prada on a series of murals and illustrations that mused on themes of femininity, representation, power and multiplicity. Inspired by the politically-charged murals of Diego Rivera, muralists including Gabriel Specter and Stinkfish and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet saw their work almost enveloping the audience – and making its way onto clothes. The main surprise? Britney Spears was on the soundtrack.

Spring/summer 2015: « Outdoor / Indoor / Outdoor, 2″
For the previous menswear show, AMO had transformed the show space into a swimming pool. They reversed the impulse for the womenswear show, erecting purple dunes which were a stunning and unexpected backdrop, with models pacing through the desert on a brown carpet that lined the edges of the set.

Autumn/winter 2015: « The Infinite Palace »
Blue and black « fake » marble lined the walls of the men’s show, which sported metal ceilings and metal floors; Frédéric Sanchez put Front 242 on the soundtrack.

Autumn/winter 2015 womenswear: « The Infinite Palace »
A Wes Anderson-like palette of pale greens and sugary pinks covered the walls of the womenswear show space, punctuated by aluminium inserts on doors and floors to create a hyper-intimate environment. « Sweet… » said Miuccia Prada, of the sugar-spun saturation of colour on the clothes and the set, « but violent. I wanted impact. How can you be strong with pastels? »

Spring/summer 2016: « Indefinite Hangar »
Billed as an investigation of « the perception of continuous space through an invasion of the ceiling », the spring set featured fibreglass and polycarbonate « stalactites » hanging from the ceiling, illuminated by an orange glow.

Spring/summer 2017: « Total Space »
This was the show where AMO Studio built a mesh ramp on the remnants of the previous season’s set. Defined as « layers of different architectures », the ramp was illuminated by lights, and was conceived by American director David O. Russell as a surreal dreamscape, and featured a preview of his collaborative short film with Prada, Past Forward.

Resort 2018: « Suspended Ensemble »
For the first time, Prada showcased its resort show in its newly renovated Osservatorio, a top-floor exhibition space for contemporary photography in the Prada store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Millennial pink and mirrors combined with benches oriented towards a rooftop view of the Galleria’s dome.

Autumn/winter 2017: « Teen Dream »
Inspired by the « bare simplicity of everyday life », AMO studio constructed a series of domestic set-ups lined by an extending wooden ‘boiserie’, a partition between the private, Seventies-inspired teenage bedrooms and an urban front covered in posters.

Spring/summer 2018: « A Story Within a Story »
Designed by AMO studio in collaboration with NYC-based design studio 2×4, the spring set featured the work of eight visionary artists – including Brigid Elva, Giuliana Maldini, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples – whose artistic aim was to illustrate women in a « uniquely empowering way ». The graphic panels also included archival work of Tarpé Mills, creator of the first female action hero – which popped up again in the collection.

Vogue – 20 février 2018

How A Legendary Romance Became The Theme Of Erdem’s Latest Collection

For his autumn/winter 2018 show, the designer describes his sea-crossing journey to bring Adele Astaire, the American dancer turned English aristocrat, to life.

by ELLEN BURNEY

For Turkish-Canadian designer Erdem Moralıoğlu, show season starts with an exchange with his favourite music curator, French sound artist Frédéric Sanchez. “We always start banging heads about what the music will be quite early on in the process,” Moralıoğlu tells me at his headquarters in an old Whitechapel warehouse in London’s East End. “There’s always some sort of narrative and he send me things and I send him things. One ritual I find is that by listening to the music – often on the way to work – I can start to visually understand what look one might be, what look two is, etc.”

The soundtrack is still “a work in progress” when we meet, five days before his autumn/winter 2018 show – but the tone is set in old castle stone. A collection of tweedy kilts, corduroy and jewel-encrusted gowns are inspired by “the extraordinary romance” between 1920s American Broadway star Adele Astaire – sister of Fred – and Charles Cavendish, an English lord and son of the 9th Duke of Devonshire. The theme was cemented at Lismore Castle in Ireland, their marital home. “I love the idea of this vaudeville, tinselly, kind of extraordinary girl who came from Hollywood then came to Ireland,” says Moralıoğlu, who visited the castle in Cork. “A shine mixed with something tweedy and woolly – mixing these two kinds of worlds that really don’t mix together at all.”

It’s 8.30 am and two coffees down, Moralıoğlu is sitting for his portrait. Hot onn the heels of a sold-out collaboration with H&M in November, 2018 is coming on in leaps and bounds. In addition to his upcoming runway collection, Moralıoğlu – who founded his label in 2005 and is best known for his demure and decorative gowns – is also designing a series of costumes for a Royal Ballet performance, which premieres in March. “I am thrilled. I am spending so much time at the Opera House at the moment working on the ballet with [choreographer and the Royal Ballet’s Artistic Associate] Christopher Wheeldon, so that’s been the most exciting thing this year, getting the wheels in motion.”

Moralıoğlu came to Lismore Castle by way of Chatsworth House, home to the Devonshires. “I was with my friend Laura Burlington, who is married to William Cavendish, son of the Duke of Devonshire, and I actually ended up going to Ireland. She was showing me around and the perimeter of this pool that Adele Astaire had built really kind of stuck in my head – the outline of this 1920s pool that was then filled in.”

To begin, he looked back to Adele’s early performance days as a dancer. “These kind of drop-waist. 1920s shapes felt really interesting and modern,” he says, with a nod to his splendid silver drop-waist dress embroidered in sequins. “But also these kilts and skirts that had kind of inverted box pleats in wool,” he says pointing to an old photograph of a traditional Irish costume.

He describes the autumn collection as feeling quite “masculine and dark.” Tweeds, such as an oversized double-breasted men’s coat, are combined with bright, light jacquards. “There was also that idea of the formality of a castle and what finishings you would find in there combined with something that’s quite casual and almost day[wear]. Like what would happen if you took Fred Astaire’s jacket or her husband’s tweed coat over this kind of shiny tulle dress.”

Moralıoğlu turns to his mood board, pointing to black and white portraits of Adele. “The graphic polka dots seemed to be a weird recurring theme.” They bounce throughout his own collection in oversized tulle overlays. Then there’s a picture of a Twenties star-spangled swimsuit that Moralıoğlu spotted at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. “I love the idea of the star motif mixed with these very Irish tweeds.” The motif shines on a cape, skirt and dress.

Back at Chatsworth, he worked with the archive and the family walked him through this “whole world”, where Astaire and her future husband met when she was performing in London. Moralıoğlu was presented with some scrapbooks made by a local family in Ireland “who were totally obsessed” with the romance between Adele and Lord Cavendish. “I felt that there was something so wonderful about this family that observed the couple at a distance, and almost documented what would happen to them.”

At this point, I suggest an alternative career as a biographer. “Maybe film,” he muses. “Maybe?” But he’s not serious. He returns to his current muse. “In a way I really need that kind of narrative to be the catalyst of something, and then from there things come. Whether or not the stories are legible when you see the collection in stores, I don’t know, but it’s that tool that I need.”

janv. 222018

Vogue – 22 janvier 2018

Dior Homme – Vogue

by SARAH MOWER
How weird is it to think that the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, aged 40, was born only five years before “Forever Young” by Alphaville—the 1984 New Wave/synth hit Kris Van Assche chose to close his Christian Dior Homme show today? Van Assche, a Belgian in Paris, is just one year older than the man who runs France. That’s pause for thought, the principal one (since we’re dealing with fashion) being along the lines of a) the enduring importance of the two-piece suit to masculine power in the civic, corporate, and global private wealth spheres, and b) the synonymity of Christian Dior as a brand with French national identity. In other words, there’s no way Van Assche cannot deal face-on with the suits.
He did it, perhaps self-knowingly, by reflecting on the boy inside his middle-aged peers—the ex-raver generation which is seizing positions of power in the 21st century. The jacket Van Assche was wearing backstage had a black label tacked to the top of one sleeve cuff, reading “Christian Dior Atelier,” a sartorial heritage signal indicating handmade tailoring values (as well as a bit of an inside-out Martin Margiela-ism). So far, so manly.
But bless him, in this age of roiling gender politics, Van Assche’s first instinct had been to bring in an expert woman from the Christian Dior women’s atelier to help him work on how to adapt the manual know-how of Dior’s late-’40s and early-’50s women’s tailoring, and turn it into “sharp” suits for men. “I wanted to make it very body-conscious. With streetwear, more or less everything has become blurred, loose,” he said.
But what about keeping the boy-thoughts alive? Van Assche returned to his own teen memories, of “the first tattoo you got when you were 15,” and how it was clubbing in the ’90s, layering short-sleeved T-shirts over long-sleeves. And the baggy but high-waist jeans; and the other kids, who stuck to polo shirts and synthetic anoraks with terrible prints. In fact, Van Assche was never a clubber, but he knew all about it, from his bedroom. Yet all that stuff is now idolized by a second generation as classic vintage style.
Maybe Emmanuel Macron is just the same; occupied with studying as he was, yet still hyperaware that there’s a young generation coming up who might buy into new politics, new style. On the Christian Dior runway, both generations were represented—the original cool ’90s guys who are now wearing the suits and carrying the briefcases, and generation Z, who everyone and his strategist now wants to capture.

The Guardian – 22 janvier 2018

Dior Homme looks to win over millennial market at Paris show

Hannah Marriott

Hundreds of teenagers jostled outside the Grand Palais in Paris on Saturday morning, and they weren’t there for the Irving Penn retrospective. The object of their fascination was Robert Pattinson, whose arrival at the Dior Homme fashion show drew shrieks from the crowd.

Inside, Pattinson sat next to Karl Lagerfeld, a longtime fan of the brand, who wore his usual uniform of precise monochrome suit and fingerless gloves, with the unlikely addition of a scruffy white beard.

Lagerfeld did Dior Homme’s mythology no harm when he famously said that the motivation for his six-and-a-half stone weight loss, in the noughties, was the desire to fit into the brand’s skinny suits.

He would have found much to appreciate in the opening half of the show, which consisted of a series of slim black suits in single- and double-breasted iterations.

The rest felt fresh and unexpected. There were baggy ravers’ jeans and short-sleeved t-shirts layered over long-sleeved versions, and a repeated heavy metal-style motif embroidered on to rucksacks and bomber jackets, used as a print and a pendant, and shaved into models’ hair.

There were models of a variety of ages, not just 20-somethings. The theme, said the show notes, was “Forever Young”, a reference to the 1984 Alphaville song that was mixed in on the soundtrack with A-Ha, Technotronic and other 1980s hits. The brand’s artistic director, Kris Van Assche, is an 80s music fan who has recently signed up the Pet Shop Boys as campaign stars.

It seemed designed to appeal to new customers while sparking nostalgia for others. More evidence of Dior’s attempts to woo the millennial market came in the presence of the Instagram star Bella Hadid, who wore a pair of the label’s new squidgy trainers, Dior Homme Runners, Dior’s answer to Balenciaga’s hugely successful Triple S trainers.

Business Of Fashion – 15 janvier 2018

Tradition as Salvation at Prada

The Prada set was a warehouse stacked high with crates, like the final scene of « Raiders of the Lost Ark. »

« There are strange things happening in those boxes, » Miuccia Prada mused. « Strange animals, strange machines, strange preparations for some strange transformation. » Like an entire civilisation in cold storage. Or like an Amazon warehouse, as captured by Andreas Gursky in a recent numbing panorama. All human endeavour distilled into a brown cardboard box, borne by drone to your address. The show invitation was a mini-flatpack version of just such a box.

Last season, Miuccia was energised by a simmering anger. This season, that idealistic energy initially seemed as though it had surrendered to a dystopian what’s-the-point?. The designer asked a handful of her favourite architects to re-interpret black nylon, the ground zero of the Prada phenomenon, and what they came back with amplified the initial end-of-days impression. Instead of the classic backpack, Rem Koolhaas made a front-pack, perfect for absorbing an apocalyptic wallop. Konstantin Grcic made an apron and a hood (why was I thinking Cormac McCarthy?). Herzog & de Meuron envisaged a world in which language had lost its power, where words were mere decoration. The models sported corporate IDs on their industrial nylon ensembles. “We are all controlled,” Miuccia declared. ‘We think we’re free, but we’re a kind of species.” Another brick in the wall? Was that Pink Floyd on Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack?

We are a species, of course, just one that has profound difficulty slotting itself into the continuum of life that otherwise dictates the rhythm of the planet on which we evolved. It was riveting watching the way Miuccia built a collection of clothing on such a notion, juxtaposing graphics from previous collections, making mutant combinations, like a banana-print shirt laid over a fairisle sweater. The bananas were licked by the flames of another Prada print and — apologies in advance for the quantum leap — all I could think about was Hawaii’s false alarm on Saturday. It was, of course, pure coincidence that Miuccia reanimated yet another print from years ago of a post-nuclear Honolulu landscape, but I will always give her credit for a rare prescience in fashion.

Maybe the prescience is pragmatism. Either way, she persuasively nullified that initial negativity when she said that « intelligence, humanity, generosity and possibly love » would save the world. But note that she didn’t mention lovey-dovey beauty. That wasn’t this collection. If Amazon is the contemporary repository of human knowledge, the 21st century simulacrum of the Great Library of Alexandria, Miuccia chose to turn her latest outing into a comprehensive education in the history of her house: from the uniformity of the black nylon, puffed into exaggerated power silhouettes, through the myriad of prints, into colour and finally the reassuring classicism of tailoring in camel and charcoal grey. From hard to soft. Tradition as salvation…it was a potent closer. And Michael Nyman’s lyrical theme from « The Piano » played as an additional acknowledgment of the profound truth that beauty can, in fact, offer succour at the cold, hard, bitter end.

SHOWstudio – 11 janvier 2018

Georgina Evans reports on the Craig Green show

Crochet patches, almost corset-like in shape and orange in tone, were a welcome addition sat atop slim knits and wide, straight jeans. These were romantic too, they felt a little like delicate life-jackets but perhaps that’s too much of a literal image for Green – he is drawn to more abstract and conceptual references.
After the loud, vivacious frivolities of Charles Jeffrey the night before, Craig Green’s Monday morning offering – showing in a spacious warehouse in Lambeth – was a welcome reverence to London Fashion Week Men’s. Green’s designs are soothing, often deeply intelligent and honourably humble – the latter still pleasantly surprising considering Green has picked up the British Fashion Award for the second year in a row.

This season, Green showed us both the expected and the unexpected; candied brights, the return of knits, drawstrings and patchworks and the familiar, structural almost altar-like aspects too.

Green had been drawing from ‘the dutiful idea of falling in line’ and linear patterns and silhouettes were certainly a focal point here, and indeed often are in Green’s work. Looks were trimmed with fin panelling, giving a black linear shadow around each model and forcing the eye to scan in full circle, tubular piping followed up the legs and in some cases onto arms and chest, giving a slightly aquatic aesthetic. As too, did the slim rope ties across the sternum and the layered boxy trouser – the latter reminiscent of foam floats and buoyancy.

Similarly, the set – a huge sprawling blackened out space, with floor-to-ceiling sections and an audience divide down the runway, provided the rhythm of lapping waves as models moved in and out of visibility. In the light, out of the light. In the light, out of the light. The sombre darkness mirrored that of the soundtrack – Van Der Graaf Generator’s House With No Door spoke of knowing lines so well ‘I am ready to tell whoever will finally come in of the line in my mind that’s cold in the night’ – highlighting Green’s aforementioned explorations. 


Beautiful hooded patchwork coats and jackets reminded one of the S/S 18 offerings, but these were less printed and more focal on drippings of string and strong gig lines from neck to hem.

The final looks, the more structural of the pieces, were a continuation from last season, here with bow-like shape and dangling strings, springing as the models walked. There was something romantic in these pieces, they bounced with the quick march of the model as if with intent and purpose, yet there was also a dark emotion to them that felt a little lost at sea.

Crochet patches, almost corset-like in shape and orange in tone, were a welcome addition sat atop slim knits and wide, straight jeans. These were romantic too, they felt a little like delicate life-jackets but perhaps that’s too much of a literal image for Green – he is drawn to more abstract and conceptual references.

As the show drew to a close, it felt as though the audience had let out a peaceful sigh. Consistently silent, consistently strong. Green had done it again – effortlessly stoic, calm and handsome.

nov. 242017

i-D – 24 Novembre 2017


jil sander, grande prêtresse du minimalisme, s’expose pour la première fois

Sophie Abriat

Une nouvelle exposition célèbre les 40 ans de mode de celle que l’on surnommait dans les années 90 « The Queen of clean ». Le directeur artistique Marc Ascoli et l’illustrateur sonore Frédéric Sanchez qui ont travaillé à ses côtés racontent l’exposition.

Vidéos des défilés, vêtements, photographies de mode, campagnes de pub, parfums et cosmétiques, bande-son signé Frédéric Sanchez, salle dédiée à l’architecture des boutiques : l’exposition est une immersion totale dans l’univers de Jil Sander. A cela s’ajoute même un jardin (de l’artiste Norbert Schoerner) réalisé à partir de paysages filmés par des drones depuis une propriété du nord de l’Allemagne, à Plöner See, où la créatrice a l’habitude de se ressourcer. Une section est également réservée aux liens entre la styliste et l’art contemporain (notamment à travers le mouvement « Arte Povera » représenté entre autres par les artistes Mario Merz and Alighiero e Boetti). Très tôt, la créatrice a collectionné des œuvres de Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly, Ad Reinhardtouou encore Mario Merz (avec qui elle a d’ailleurs collaboré dans le cadre de la Biennale de Florence « Looking at Fashion » en 1996). C’est le Musée des arts appliqués de Francfort, un bâtiment construit en 1984 et dessiné par l’architecte New-Yorkais Richard Meier qui abrite cette rétrospective. Il fallait bien une exposition d’une telle ampleur pour cette adepte du minimalisme qui a transformé notre façon de nous habiller.

Le curating – élaboré par la créatrice elle-même et Matthias Wagner K, directeur du Musée – recrée l’expérience Jil Sander. Cette dernière ne souhaitait pas une simple juxtaposition de silhouettes, déconnectées de leur contexte, sinon une expérience totale. Les deux partenaires ont travaillé pendant 18 mois à l’élaboration de cette exposition. Pour l’occasion, la styliste s’est replongée pour la première fois dans ses archives. Elle a demandé à Frédéric Sanchez – auteur des bandes-son de ses défilés depuis le début des années 1990 – de créer l’environnement sonore de l’exposition. « J’ai travaillé sur l’idée du déplacement du son à travers 10 programmations informatiques. Quand on se déplace, les sons évoluent – comme un nuage du son ou un parfum du son. Une forme d’architecture dans l’architecture, indique l’illustrateur sonore. Ensemble, nous avons pensé le son comme une enveloppe protectrice, une coque, qui accompagnerait les visiteurs. Comme quelque chose de tactile aussi. Cette exposition est une expérience sensorielle, une vraie expérience de mode : tous les sens sont mis à contribution. Je suis très touché que Jil m’ait donné cette opportunité car c’est rare de pouvoir aller ainsi jusqu’au bout des choses ».

Des photos signées par les plus grands photographes de mode avec qui la créatrice a collaboré – Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, Nick Knight, Craig McDean, David Sims, Mario Sorrenti ou encore Jean-François Lepage – sont projetées sur les murs d’une salle immense. A la direction artistique de ces campagnes de pub : Marc Ascoli qui a travaillé pour Jil Sander pendant 12 ans à partir du début des années 1990. « C’était très émouvant de découvrir l’exposition et de revoir pour l’occasion l’équipe de Jil de l’époque. C’est une personnalité charismatique, qui met beaucoup d’intensité dans son travail. Il y a peu de femmes dans le secteur de la mode qui ont eu l’ambition de créer un tel univers. Cette exposition est une consécration de son travail », indique le directeur artistique. Dans l’exposition, les imagées créées par Marc Ascoli sont célébrées (on note la présence de quelques clichés jusqu’ici jamais dévoilés) : des images influentes et intemporelles. On pense entre autres à ces deux campagnes de pub (devenues aujourd’hui des posts classiques sur Instagram et Pinterest, indicateur de leur popularité !) : celle photographiée par Craig McDean avec Amber Valletta (automne-hiver 95-96) et celle shootée par David Sims avec Angela Lindvall (automne-hiver 97-98). « Ces images fonctionnent parce qu’elles sont réelles et incarnées. Ce sont justement cette émotion et cette incarnation qui sont recherchées aujourd’hui », souligne Marc Ascoli.

C’est en 1973 en Allemagne que la styliste lance sa première collection. Elle la présente dans la boutique qu’elle a ouverte cinq ans plus tôt à Hambourg. Coupes nettes, tissus de qualité (Jil Sander a suivi des études d’ingénieur textile), monochromes : la patte de celle que l’on surnommera dans les années 1990 « The Queen of clean » pour la précision et la pureté de son design est déjà là. En 1979, elle développe sa ligne de parfums ; « Woman Pure » et « Man Pure » deviendront des classiques. La créatrice invente un nouveau langage vestimentaire, définit une certaine façon de s’habiller. Jil Sander c’est « une signature » indique Marc Ascoli, « une grammaire » renchérit Frédéric Sanchez. Elle crée pour habiller les femmes indépendantes, actives et les invite à se libérer de l’ornement, du décoratif. « Si vous portez Jil Sander, vous n’êtes pas à la mode, vous êtes moderne », disait-elle à l’époque. Ses principes de conception – l’harmonie des proportions, la tridimensionnalité, l’euphémisme – constituent les bases de son design. L’habillement est chez elle le reflet de la conscience de soi. Pour Marc Ascoli « Jil Sander a vocation à raconter une attitude et pas seulement des vêtements. Avec elle, la personnalité des femmes est plus importante que les vêtements. »

En 1989, forte de son succès, son entreprise est cotée à la bourse de Francfort, elle défile alors deux fois par an à Milan. Le pull en V en cachemire et la parfaite chemise blanche deviennent ses best-sellers. En 1993, en collaboration avec l’architecte américain Michael Gabellini, la styliste imagine son premier magasin phare de 1000 mètres carrés à Paris, au 50 Avenue Montaigne. En 1999, elle vend sa marque à Prada, pour finalement quitter le navire six mois plus tard, suite à des désaccords avec Patrizio Bertelli, PDG et mari de Miuccia Prada. Coup de théâtre, elle revient en 2003 mais quitte une seconde fois l’entreprise en 2004. Raf Simons devient alors directeur artistique de la marque, perpétuant la mode minimaliste de la créatrice allemande. Il restera aux commandes du prêt-à-porter féminin et masculin jusqu’en 2012. En 2006, Prada vend la société à un groupe d’investissement britannique ; elle sera rachetée en 2008 par un groupe japonais. C’est aujourd’hui Lucie (ex codirectrice artistique de la mode femme chez Dior) et Luke Meier qui sont en charge de la direction artistique de la marque. « C’est un certain regard qui est donné à voir avec cette exposition. Un regard intimiste qui ne s’adressait en définitive qu’à un certain public à l’heure où la mode est aujourd’hui une industrie globalisée. C’est aussi une bonne leçon pour aujourd’hui : quand on veut plaire à tout le monde, on prend le risque de ne plaire à personne », souligne Marc Ascoli. « C’est une vraie proposition sur comment on peut montrer de la mode. Dans cette exposition, je n’ai rien senti de daté », conclut Frédéric Sanchez. L’exposition est d’ailleurs baptisée « Jil Sander : Present Tense ».

« Jil Sander: Present Tense » au Musée des arts appliqués de Francfort, jusqu’au 6 mai 2018.

nov. 142017

WWD – Novembre 2017

Vogue UK – 8 novembre 2017

Jil Sander On Her First Solo Exhibition
As Jil Sander’s first solo exhibition opens at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Vogue caught five minutes with the designer to ask why now was the right time to delve into the archives.

by ALICE NEWBOLD

“Matthias Wagner K repeatedly proposed the project,” Jil Sander told Vogue of the museum director’s mission to house her first retrospective in his Frankfurt establishment. “He values my work, and I felt that it could be fruitful curating it cooperatively, so I finally found time to go through my archives”.

The show, which is set to run until May 16 2018, occupies over 32,000 square feet of display space in Frankfurt’s Museum of Applied Arts. Sander “immediately felt at home in the Richard Meier building from the 1980s,” she explained. “It was exciting to use the vast space and create a symbiosis between my and Meier’s work.”

Of narrowing down the pieces to populate the space, she said: “It was a long process. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to simply exhibit past collections, so I radically reduced the actual fashion pieces.”

“The display concentrates on three-dimensional cuts and sculptural silhouettes,” she continued. “Since I prefer to see my designs on living beings rather than mannequins, I included runway videos. Forty shows were recut in an interesting way to highlight details and create the Jil Sander atmosphere and perspective.”

Visitors can also expect flagship store architecture, interior design and beauty products which all have the same “modern design language” and “handwriting” that has stayed the same throughout her career. Shout outs also go to the artists she has collaborated with on brand imagery – Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, Nick Knight, Craig McDean and David Sims – in an extra room, and Frédéric Sanchez, who she has worked with on runway sound for 27 years, has done the sound installations.

“I hope that visitors understand that the vision applies to everything in life,” she mused. The standout piece to look out for? “I don’t have a personal favourite. Everything was right in its time. But I like to see that many designs don’t look dated today.”

Wallpaper – 8 novembre 2017

Taking form: Jil Sander reflects on her new exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst

As ‘Jil Sander: Present Tense’ opens at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, Nick Vinson speaks to the legendary German designer about the impetus behind her first solo museum exhibition. The 3,000 sq m show, curated by Matthias Wagner K, takes an immersive and multisensory approach, consisting of large scale tableaux and installations that celebrate Sander’s purist, understated and elegant approach to aesthetics. The exhibition spans genres including product design, garden art, architecture and cosmetics, and concretes the designer’s status in the canon of modern design.

Nick Vinson: Why did you choose to put on this exhibition?
Jil Sander: My archive was not very organised, and an exhibition deadline was a great way to make me speed up the archive revision.

How long have you been working on it?
About 18 months.

What would you say are your design principles?
Innovative quality materials, interesting proportions, perfection in details, energising shapes and a truly three-dimensional execution.

What is Jil Sander’s concept of purism?
The desire to capture the essence of the modern moment as it unfolds season after season. Purism to me means leaving behind unnecessary historical baggage, decorations, conventions, while concentrating on truly contemporary shapes and materials. I always wanted my designs to convey a readiness and openness towards the future.

People may be surprised to learn there has always been room in your life for the baroque. How is your personal taste different from the way you express opulence in your work?
As a fashion designer I tried to do justice to individual proportions by diversifying my collections and breaking them down to multiple possible combinations. The same thing happens when I have to choose the interior design for a building. The house I live in in Hamburg was built in the historicist period at the end of the 19th century by Martin Haller. I tried to give it a modern design, but that didn’t work. So I got Renzo Mongiardino to help me. Under his tutelage I learned that all style periods have a purist version of enlightened craftsmanship and choice materials. We chose a Renaissance interior which did justice to the house and created harmony.

When I think of you I think of the perfect white shirt. What is about your shirts that make them so covetable and why are they such an object of obsession?
I have about a hundred white shirts in my wardrobe. On the one hand, the periodical revision of the outlines of the white shirt is a study in shape, workmanship and quality. On the other hand, these revisions are echoes of a changing zeitgeist. You have to refresh a classic like the white shirt all the time.

Whether it’s a white shirt or a double-faced cashmere coat, fabric development has always been an essential element of your work. Why is research and development into yarn and fabric so important?
The shape and overall look of a piece of clothing is, to a great extent, a function of the fabric. I was interested in materials which lend themselves to a sculptural use. It helps if a fabric has character, a surprising lightness or even a distinct weight. If you want to create new shapes, to start with the material is a great way to get inspired.

Everything I own from you has a special label that reads ‘Tailor Made’. Why is construction so integral to a Jil Sander garment?
If you want to avoid clothes that just cling to the body, you need sartorial construction. This includes the development of patterns, innovative inlay and fine-tuning through repeated fitting. The result will be an autonomous shape that moves in dynamic harmony with the body.

You once said you had a marriage of aesthetics with your architect Michael Gabellini. This exhibition celebrates your creative collaboration with him, as well as with photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Irving Penn, David Sims and Craig McDean, sound artist Frédéric Sanchez and designers like Fabien Baron, Ezra Petronio and Peter Schmidt, who worked with you on your logo and perfume bottles. How do you choose them and what is the collaborative process like?
I like to collaborate with people whose creative work I find interesting. The collaboration itself is a process. You need to find a common language.

The last time I saw you we spoke about your garden in the north of Germany; your exhibition covers aesthetics, material and form of fashion and product design, architecture and garden art. Tell me about working with Penelope Hobhouse on that.
I was inspired by the famous Sissinghurst rose gardens. Our garden project encompassed the design of the surrounding landscape. It is an attempt to bridge the concept of the protected Renaissance theme garden and the English idea of a democratic landscape.

Frankfurter Allgemeine – 6 novembre 2017

Jil Sander in Frankfurt : Die Schau und die Scheue

Der Mode ganz nah: Die ersten Besucher in der Ausstellung am Freitagabend. Bild: Helmut Fricke
Modedesigner locken überall auf der Welt Scharen von Besuchern in die Museen. Schafft es das
Frankfurter Museum Angewandte Kunst mit Jil Sander?

Ihr Auftritt am Donnerstagvormittag in Frankfurt erinnert an damals nach ihren Schauen in Mailand.
Nachdem das letzte Model zum Finale vom Laufsteg Richtung Backstage abgetreten war, stand Jil
Sander für gewöhnlich von einem Moment auf den anderen dort. Sie zeigte sich dann kurz den
Fotografen, und weg war sie schon wieder. Sollten sich andere tief verbeugen oder gar ein paar Meter
über den Laufsteg schreiten. Ihr Ding war das nie.

Nun ist die Frau Jil Sander schon länger nicht mehr an dem Haus Jil Sander tätig. Vor vier Jahren um
diese Zeit verließ sie es zum dritten Mal in ihrer Karriere. Am Donnerstagvormittag aber erinnert ihr
Auftritt trotzdem an damals. Auf der zweiten Etage des Frankfurter Museums Angewandte Kunst (MAK)
haben sich etliche Fotografen und Journalisten versammelt, dann kommt die Modedesignerin um die
Ecke. Dunkelblauer Strickpullover, dunkle Hose, so wie damals, wie immer. Dazu trägt sie eine
Sonnenbrille auf der Nase. Sie schaut kurz in die Kameras, streckt die Arme hoch. Und weg ist sie
wieder. Es ist der typische, scheue Jil-Sander-Auftritt. Nur, hier geht es um mehr als damals nach ihren
Schauen. Es ist die überhaupt größte Schau dieser Designerin, und sie ist ihrer eigenen Person
gewidmet. Seit gestern zeigt sie das Frankfurter Museum Angewandte Kunst, und Jil Sander hat daran
in den vergangenen Monaten kräftig mitgearbeitet.

Eine Einzelausstellung über eine prominente Figur aus der Mode. Mit dem Konzept locken Museen
überall auf der Welt gerade Scharen in ihre Häuser. Wer zum Beispiel dieser Tage die Dior-Ausstellung
im Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris sehen will, muss sich nicht nur an Wochenenden hinten
anstellen, also Hunderte Meter weit vom Eingang entfernt. Vor den Türen des neuen Yves-Saint-
Laurent-Museums der Stadt sieht es nicht besser aus, Besucher brauchen hier sogar noch mehr
Geduld. Und das Victoria & Albert Museum in London zeigt in diesem Herbst das Werk des spanischen
Couturiers Cristóbal Balenciaga. An die Besuchermenge, die vor zwei Jahren durch die Räume zur
Ausstellung über Alexander McQueen zog, wird das Haus trotzdem nur schwer herankommen. 480
000 verkaufte Tickets waren es innerhalb von fünf Monaten, die am besten besuchte Ausstellung in der
Geschichte des Museums.
:
Kurz vor Schluss gab es sogar Zeitslots für mitten in der Nacht, zwischen 22 und 5.30 Uhr morgens. Es
handelte sich dabei ja auch um jene legendäre Schau, die 2011 im New Yorker Metropolitan Museum
(Met) zu sehen war (674 000 Tickets) und damit überhaupt erst das Konzept der Ausstellung über
einen Modedesigner auf ein neues Blockbuster-Niveau gebracht hat, mit Warteschlangen um die
Straßenecken. Klar gibt es seit Jahrzehnten Modeausstellungen, in jenem New Yorker Met etwa, seit
die ehemalige Chefredakteurin der amerikanischen „Vogue“, Diana Vreeland, dort 1973 als Beraterin
anfing. Aber Mode im Museum, das war zugleich lange Zeit ein schwieriger Fall. Mode will getragen
und nicht hinter Glaskästen konserviert werden. Mode im Museum, das könnte allerdings ebens0
gerade deshalb funktionieren. Da sie ihren Platz im Leben der Menschen selbstverständlicher hat als,
sagen wir, die Alten Meister.

„Man wusste, man zieht es an und ist gewappnet“

Die vage Vorstellung, die man schon von einem Modemacher habe, bevor man in die Ausstellung
gehe, sei ein Grund für den Erfolg in Museen, sagt auch Matthias Wagner K, Direktor des Frankfurter
Museums Angewandte Kunst und verantwortlich für die Schau über Jil Sander. Seit fünf Jahren ist er
hier tätig, Jil Sander habe von Beginn an ganz oben auf seiner Liste für eine Ausstellung gestanden.
Vor anderthalb Jahren habe man sich dann zum ersten Mal getroffen. Matthias Wagner K bot Jil
Sander nicht etwa eine Etage, sondern das gesamte Haus an, für die Gestaltung einer Ausstellung, die
jene vage Vorstellung für Besucher konkretisieren sollte. Besonders Frauen, die mit der Designerin
aufwuchsen, dürften sich angesprochen fühlen. Jene, die Jil Sander in den achtziger und neunziger
Jahren einkleidete, als diese auf dem besten Weg waren, sich in der noch stärker von Männern
dominierten Welt zu behaupten.

Matthias Wagner K erinnert sich an Frauen, die ihm in den vergangenen anderthalb Jahren während
der Arbeit an der Ausstellung begegnet sind und von jenem Gefühl berichteten. „Die gesagt haben, in
Kleidern von Jil Sander konnte ich so in den Gerichtssaal gehen und mich geschützt und präpariert
fühlen für das, was vor mir liegt.“ Wer sich die hochpreisigen Stücke zu der Zeit leisten konnte, musste
noch nicht einmal sonderlich stilsicher sein. „Man wusste, man zieht es an und ist gewappnet.“ Es ging
der Modemacherin Jil Sander ja um sie, um diese Kundin, und dadurch unterschied Sander sich
tatsächlich von ihren überwiegend männlichen Kollegen, die Mode oft als etwas Theatralisches
verstanden.

Dass Jil Sander das ganz anders sah, zeigt auch das MAK: Ein ganzer Raum ist einer Serie schlichter,
überwiegend schwarzer Kleidungsstücke gewidmet, Mänteln, so voluminös wie ein Kokon, oder mit
festen Gurten, Blazern, Cocktailkleidern. Die Entwürfe sind mal dreißig Jahre alt und jetzt neu
aufgelegt, mal vier Jahre. Alles ist stimmig – und stark, selbst an den leblosen Puppen. Und apropos
Mode, die im Museum schnell fad wirken kann: Der französische Klangkünstler Frédéric Sanchez hat
für jeden Raum ein Konzept entworfen. Der Sound zu den schwarzen Stücken: entschlossene Schritte,
Klaviertöne. Eine Video-Installation ihrer Laufsteg-Präsentationen aus den Jahren 1989 bis 2014 wird
hier nicht auf einer Leinwand gezeigt, es sind drei. Die Clips nehmen den Besucher ein, indem sie
chronologisch ungeordnet von Look zu Look springen und trotzdem sorgfältig editiert sind von dem
Fotografen Norbert Schoerner. Es sind Nahaufnahmen, die über den Zeitraum überraschend stimmig
geblieben sind: Kaschmir, technische Stoffe, scharfe Kanten, viel Dunkelblau, Schwarz zu Weiß,
Baumwollblusen, Hosenanzüge, Mäntel.

Mit Stücken wie diesen schaffte sie sich damals ja auch ihre treue Gefolgschaft, in den Achtzigern.
Heidemarie Jiline Sander, 1943 in Schleswig-Holstein geboren, hatte als Textilingenieurs-Studentin
einige Zeit in Kalifornien verbracht und arbeitete nach ihrer Rückkehr in den sechziger Jahren als
Moderedakteurin in Hamburg. Was ihr fehlte, waren die richtigen Kleider, die sie zum Erzählen ihrer
Geschichten brauchte. Also bat sie die Hersteller um Änderungen. Es war der Beginn ihres eigenen
kreativen Schaffens. Sie eröffnete einen Laden, begann eine eigene Linie zu entwerfen. Damals war
sie 24.

„Die positive Energie fand ich erstaunlich“

Später gründete sie einen Produktionsstandort in Deutschland, 1989 brachte sie das Unternehmen an
die Börse. Es waren dann auch in den Neunzigern nicht die Kleider, sondern vielmehr das wichtiger
werdende Geschäft mit den Accessoires, das ihr Lebenswerk bedrohte. 1999 hatte sie ihr
Unternehmen mehrheitlich an die Prada-Group verkauft, es sollte in Schuhe und Taschen investiert
werden. Die Zusammenarbeit lief nicht gut, ein Jahr später verließ die Kreativdirektorin das von ihr
gegründete Haus. Allerdings kam sie 2003 ein zweites Mal wieder, ging kurz darauf. Und übernahm im
Jahr 2012 abermals für drei Saisons die kreative Leitung. Jil Sander war also nie richtig weg, obwohl
sie schon länger keine Mode mehr macht.

Und obwohl Mode überhaupt in Deutschland nicht gerade als hohes Kulturgut wahrgenommen wird, ist
Sander eine Ausnahme. Es liegt vor allem an der engen Beziehung, die viele Kundinnen bis heute zu
ihr haben, selbst wenn sie seit Jahren keinen Fuß mehr in eine Jil-Sander-Boutique gesetzt haben.
Jene Frauen, die noch immer ihre Stücke aus vergangenen Jahrzehnten wie selbstverständlich tragen,
ohne dass man es den Teilen ansieht. „Die positive Energie fand ich erstaunlich“, sagte die
Modemacherin dem F.A.Z.-Magazin im September im Hinblick auf die Reaktionen zur geplanten
Ausstellung. „Ich begreife noch nicht so recht, warum die Kundinnen so intensiv mit meinen Entwürfen
leben. Diese emotionale Beteiligung ist mir rätselhaft. Ich konnte das nie richtig einschätzen.“
Jil Sander, die eine der führenden Modemarken schuf, ist wieder da. Die große Ausstellung im Museum
Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt zeigt, dass ihr Design schon deswegen nicht altert, weil es zeitlos ist.

„Eine tolle Frau“, „eine Heldin“, „eine Ikone“
Es ist auch die Geschichte einer Designerin, wie sie heute nicht mehr möglich wäre. Die Mode ist
längst viel zu flüchtig geworden, als dass so viele Kunden, besonders Frauen, für die das Angebot
riesig ist, einer einzigen Marke in der Form die Treue halten. Phoebe Philo bei Céline, Alessandro
Michele bei Gucci mögen große Namen sein und Kunden intensiv bedienen, über Jahrzehnte werden
sie trotzdem nicht diese Bedeutung in deren Leben haben können. Ganz zu schweigen von der Marke
Jil Sander, von der auch jetzt, unter den neuen Kreativdirektoren Lucie und Luke Meier, nicht klar ist,
an wen sie sich genau richtet.

Um die Marke geht es in dieser Ausstellung ausschließlich in Verbindung mit der Frau Jil Sander, aber
auch deren Bedeutung ist eben eine, wie sie nur in einer anderen Zeit entstehen konnte. Dass die
Bedeutung dieser Frau bis heute, jedenfalls in Deutschland, besteht, dass ihr Name – wie das
jahrzehntealte Logo – kaum Patina bekommen hat, ist außergewöhnlich. Man hört es auch am
Freitagabend, zur Eröffnung der Schau. Beim Smalltalk, in den Gesprächen, die Besucher vor den
Exponaten führen, geht es um „so eine tolle Frau“, „eine Heldin“, „eine Ikone“.

Das Frankfurter MAK nimmt es als Anlass, gerade nicht zu historisieren. Der Titel dieser Schau: „Jil
Sander. Präsens“. Es gibt keine Chronologie, keine Jahreszahlen an Stellen, die eigentlich welche
vertragen würden. Wie etwa die Making-off-Bilder, auf denen die Designerin mit Linda Evangelista zu
sehen ist. So zeitlos wie ihre Stücke tatsächlich sind, präsentiert das MAK hier auch ihr Gesamtwerk,
ihre Herangehensweise an Mode, an Architektur und Kunst, an die Lancierung ihrer eigenen
Kosmetiklinie. Über ihre Arbeit soll man der Designerin in der Einzelausstellung nahekommen; es sollte
ja auch damals, als sie noch Kleider entworfen hat, nie um sie gehen.

Ihre Scheu war, so gesehen, die große Chance. Lieber setzte sie die Kundin an erste Stelle. Maximale
Kontrolle behielt sie selbstverständlich trotzdem. Schuhe und Taschen sind auch hier so exakt stimmig,
als handele es sich um einen Showroom. Und eine Drohne, die zuvor über ihren selbstentworfenen
Garten auf ihrem Landsitz, Gut Ruhleben am Plöner See in Schleswig-Holstein, geflogen ist, hat vor
allem Perfektion aufgenommen. Der beeindruckende Film in der Ausstellung zeigt es. Auch die Skizzen
für diesen Garten von 1985 sprechen für sich: Die Bäume sind nach Farben geordnet, für Rosen, für
Schwertlilien sind konkrete Plätze vorgesehen. Die Kraft der Natur hat gegen sie keine Chance, das
Gartenkonzept steht bis heute.

Bleibt die Frage, ob Jil Sander ein weiteres Beispiel sein kann für das Phänomen der so beliebten
Einzelausstellungen über Modedesigner. Am Eröffnungsabend deutet jedenfalls einiges darauf hin –
die Schlange, die bis zur Straße reicht, die Wartenden, die schon mal am ersten Glas Wein in der Kälte
nippen, die überlegen, ob sie gehen oder bleiben sollen. Könnte erfolgreich werden.

„Jil Sander. Präsens“ läuft bis zum 6. Mai 2018 im Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt.