We can’t really be sure when she’s in, when she’s out, but for as long as she leaves her distinctive imprint on clothes, count us in. No designer vacillates between designing and not designing for an eponymous brand as frequently as Jil Sander does. She has left her own label thrice! And each time, there seemed no chance of revisiting her designs as she meant them to be. Fortunately for us, there’s her collaboration with Uniqlo, which today launches what they have dubbed as “The Best of +J Collection”.
A greatest-hits release, in essence, can be put together without the input of the designer. We’re, therefore, not surprised by Uniqlo’s reveal that Ms Sander is not involved in this project. Still, with these re-issues, the spirit of Jil Sander is not diminished, and those who dig her pared-down looks put out as +J for five seasons since 2009 (and ended in 2011) will still find the current collection comprising 27 pieces for men and 15 for women just as relevant, just as appealing.
Of all the brand partnerships that have come to distinguish fast fashion since Karl Lagerfeld’s collaboration with H&M in 2004 (which he would later criticise as “snobbery created by anti-snobbery” for the line’s limited quantity), Jil Sander and Uniqlo’s +J is less about specific trends than stylish wardrobe basics that can truly stand the test of the short attention span of today’s fashion consumers. And in numbers that can reach as many as possible.
It has been said that you don’t need Jil Sander to do clothes like these, but without Jil Sander, Uniqlo wouldn’t have output such clothes. The beauty of high-low partnerships is that, jointly, a final product that would not be realised without the cooperation can come about to push boundaries. With +J, Ms Sander was able to tap Uniqlo’s unique strengths to create a line that offers just that little extra, nothing more, nothing less. Every wardrobe deserves her sharp tailoring and modern silhouette.
Until the next farewell…
Uniqlo The Best of +J Collection is available at Uniqlo at Suntec City, Ion Orchard, 313@Sommerset and One Raffles Place