In March 2017, it was announced that yet another in a series of creative directors was leaving a high-fashion house. Rodolfo Paglialunga, who began as creative director at Jil Sander in 2014, was leaving to be replaced by Luke and Lucie Meier, a creative couple with separately prestigious fashion experiences. While Mrs. Meier has worked under Raf Simons, Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquière for Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga, respectively, Mr. Meier has more knowledge in street style. After leaving his creative director post at Supreme, he started his own company in 2015, called OAMC, a mostly men´s but somewhat androgynous line sold in small quantities at finely curated boutiques.
From left to right: Raf Simons, Jil Sander and Rodolfo Paglialunga.
After an on-again off-again relationship with her eponymous brand towards the end of a 40-year career, Jil Sander stepped down from her role at the head of the company in 2013. Raf Simons had previously grown the label to staggering success in the early 2000s, keeping in line with the sense of purity and minimalism that the house is well known for, while adding his own colourful, cerebral touches. Unfortunately, the brand seems to have lost some of its spark since then, and bringing on the Meiers may be just what Jil Sander needs to reinvent its prestige. Their first collection for the brand will be launched in September of this year, so in terms of their past work, let’s see what we can expect from their debut.
While Mrs. Meier’s experience involved evolving techniques in detailing common minimalist shapes, Mr. Meier’s brings forth elements of street style and androgyny that are very highly proliferated in fashion today. Supreme has made a giant name for itself in the realm of street style, and what was once an underground skate company is now synonymous with constant sell outs and rare, almost instantly archival pieces in the level of desire they create in consumers. Mr. Meier has brought that sense of novelty and rarity to his current venture, OAMC, which isn’t very widely sold, and isn’t featured in large quantities. The pieces from their latest look book, Spring/Summer 2017, feature elongated and wide minimalist suits, borrowed-from-the-boys shirting, and short little jackets they call “blousons,” with lots of ties at the waist done in long strips of flat fabric.
Highlights from OAMC's SS17 collection.
Plaids add pops of colour in red and blue, while the same pattern in black and white correlates well with T-shirts strewn with graphics of repeatedly scrawled words crammed onto the basic white surface (evoking Marc Jacobs’ last collection for Louis Vuitton, certainly). Creations for women look the same as the ones for men, with the idea that the women, who don’t appear too frequently in the look book, are being styled in the men's garments. Streetstyle comes in with wide two-button jackets with sleeves cut awkwardly, though not unattractively, just below the elbow are styled with a sweatshirt underneath in a bright pop of red. Coats with gorgeous brightly embroidered prints covering the main body of the garment end the collection with a whimsical flair.
Hightlights from Rodolfo Paglialunga's last collection for Jil Sander Fall 2017.
One might interpret the Meiers' past and current experiences as simply adding flair onto well-known minimalist shapes. However, it seems that their connections to androgyny, rarity, and a true sense of luxury will really offer them success in their new role. After all, one of the aspects that makes luxury so desirable is its inherent unattainability, and from Supreme and OAMC, Mr. Meier certainly knows how to shape a brand around this sensation. For her part, Mrs. Meier has clearly been inspired in creating lasting and unforgettable trends building on both new and historic themes within the archives of storied fashion houses. Together, they seem to embody the qualities the brand that made minimalism less of a style and more of a cult, a way of being within luxury that goes against baroque and embraces purity. Only a few months left until their revival hits runways and we´ll see whether or not the Meiers’ past can create a new future for Sander’s brand.
Words: Annunziata Santelli
Copy edited by Elena Stanciu
Image Source: Vogue Runway