Not Looking Back, But Looking Forward

This was posed to us many times at the start of 2019: which new (or newish) brand do we think will be exceptional this year? To us, there may be only one: Ader Error


Adererror in Siam DiscoveryAder Error pop-up in Bangkok’s Siam Discovery in October 2018

We have always resisted making lists. This is no exception. We won’t, therefore, be looking back at the last twelve months of 2018 and tell you what we think was good, or what, regrettably, was not. But of all the new or new-to-market labels that came (and, for some, languished), perhaps one deserves mention, not because of how big they are here since no retailer brought them in, but for their very conspicuous absence.

We think that the Korean streetwear label Ader Error deserves attention even when we have never blogged about them. Although they have not received mention here, you probably have seen their wares in those social media posts that tout the very latest and hottest. Or, seen your fave K-pop stars wearing them. After all, Ader Error is reported to be “”the top choice of K-pop royalty”, such as Jin and V of BTS. They are also know for their Instagram posts, of which they have not one, but three handles, totaling 743k followers, as of now.

adererror x pumaAder Error X Puma at Robinsons at the Heeren

At this point, perhaps we should correct ourselves. It is not entirely true that Ader Error is not retailed here. In November, Robinsons at the Heeren carried the brand’s collaboration with Puma: a tiny, two-style buy of sneakers and slides. That went largely unnoticed, and are still available at Robinsons when elsewhere in the world they have been reported to sell out within days of launch. Could this be indication that we, as retailers and consumers, are slow to trends, as is the common charge? Or, simply uninterested?

While we have read of Ader Error’s meteoric rise and followed them on IG, we have not seen their designs up-close until October last year. One of Bangkok’s more forward stores Siam Discovery—once a shopping centre, now a department store—had put together an Ader Error pop-up, complete with the Korean brand’s own fixtures. It was striking and unmissable, and an opportunity for us to examine the beguiling merchandise up close. Did they live up to the hype?

ader error coatOver-sized double-breasted wool coat: classic tailoring with street cred

Hype, as we all know, is often 80% social media build-up and 20% design finesse— sometimes, for the latter, less. Hype is the engine of consumption. Hype takes us for a ride. It can be either an enjoyable one or a dud that leads to nothing. Ader Error is, without doubt, built on hype, much of it its own making (rather than, say, through third-party or fan hashtags). It is hard not to see three IG pages (excluding website, Facebook, and Twitter) put out by one brand as hype, but the noise—thankfully, not bluster—they create is commensurate to the high grade of the products they sell.

It is encouraging, therefore, to see that Ader Error has quite a healthy percentage of design flair to the equation, more than a healthy quarter, as we see it. Sure, theirs is a path well-trodden: Supreme and its ilk have ambled on with repetition and, sadly, lacklustre offerings that bank quite solely on hype. Ader Error, more than most streetwear brands, conversely use design to fuel the hype, not the other way round.

ader error pop-upAs Ader Error intended, their sleek first pop-up in Southeast Asia

Ader Error was formed in Seoul in 2014. A collective of individuals from different fields, the brand is not led by any specific design director. One Kevin Lee is reported to be the group’s spokesperson. According to Mr Lee, the group got together because they had wanted to do something totally creative. Coming from trades as different as graphics and food, they produced clothing quite unburdened by what a street wear label should be. So steep in method, as well as madness that WWD called the work they do “intellectual street wear”. However, Mr Lee prefers to call it, as he revealed to Highsnobiety, “a culture brand based in fashion”.

What we found especially appealing is the polish of the designs, with the right balance of exclusivity and mass appeal. The pieces look like there are the result of thought (much if it), not afterthought. The retro vibe, like what dominates street wear now, is unmistakable. Yet, it is subtle enough for the brand to call their hark-back “futro”. That, to us, appears to be looking at shapes and designs of the past, but with the eyes unsquintingly gazing at the present. Additionally, you sense that the people behind Ader Error are sharing a private joke, but you aren’t sure what’s funny, except the obvious: on the bottom layer of the fly of a pants, the scribbled “not yet”!

ader error merchMore than just clothing, Ader Error offers a selection of fun accessories 

While Ader Error is touted as a unisex label, it is obvious that their strength is in men’s wear. The clothes are not designed to alienate. By that we mean there’s accessibility factor to the output. Yet, you don’t dismiss them for being too commonplace. A position that will attract otaku types, fashion-leaning gamers, and even the fashion-consuming CFOs. For most, there is appeal—and comfort—in clothes that, well, look like clothes. And smart to boot.

At present, Ader Error releases only two collections a year, and, unsurprisingly, in somewhat small quantities (which possibly bait collectors the way Supreme’s encourage long lines). According to the brand’s Kevin Lee, their sell-through is more than 90 percent per collection, which is not unexpected, considering that they sell in rather small number of stores, of which only one in Seoul is their eponymous outlet, a free-form space that could easily be a karang guni man’s den.

adererror in siam discovery l2From pop-up to permanent space in two months

Apart from garments, Ader Error offers small goods or what are known as “lifestyle items”. These include cups and caddies, key chains and kerchiefs, and everything else that allow you to show those around you that you buy into their “culture”. And people do. Two months or so after their Bangkok pop-up debut in Siam Discovery, they were given a permanent corner in the men’s department on the second floor, next to Club 21. A sales staff told our Thai eyes, Nah Kwamsook, that the brand is doing well (“kai dee mak” or sales is very good), and is especially popular with “fashionable young men.”

With only one store and crackling multiple social-media pages, the brand is doing something so right that British GQ wondered if Ader Error is “the world’s coolest brand”. We don’t quite know yet, but it is rather apparent to us that Ader Error is no mistake.

Photos: Jagkrit Suwanmethanon and Zhao Xiangji

(2018) Winter Style 7: The Two-Length Coat

Nike X ACW coat AW 2018.jpg

Versatility is what we want when it comes to the ideal coat for travelling. If not a reversible one, why not an outer that can be adjusted for two different lengths?

This Nike X A-Cold-Wall* jacket in double tones of concrete and slate, which Nike calls “cool grey and gunsmoke”, is very much a 2-in-1 that pretends not to be. You really can’t tell at first look. This coat, with the oversized pouch pockets, consists of two parts, with a lower half that can be removed slightly below the waist by unzipping. That leaves you with a cropped (but not too much) upper half that goes perfectly over an elongated sweater.

But the fun in this is in the lower half. Unzipped to the rear, but not entirely removed, you’ll get a different silhouette of a short front and longer, draped back. The sides of the bottom piece comes with snap-buttons that can be undone so that when completely adhered to the upper, you get slits for limps to take wider strides. But that, if you can imagine, is not all. Depending on how you unzip and how you unsnap, the jacket can take on an asymmetrical bottom half!

This season, Nikelab, a more design-oriented offshoot of Nike, collaborates with three different brands (apart from their usual partners such as Undercover): Ambush, Fear of God, and A-Cold-Wall*. Of all the three streetwear heavyweights, ACW (as it’s commonly referred to) offers the strongest looks. ACW’s Samuel Ross, who has worked for Virgil Abloh before launching his own label, is, in our eyes, a better designer than his former employer, and the collaboration with Nike shows that he does have technical flair and eye for detail. Sometimes, all it takes is a zip and a few snap-buttons to make things that much more interesting.

Nike X A-Cold-Wall* unisex jacket, SGD829, is available at DSMS and Product photo: Restir. Montage: Just So

The Western (Polo) Shirt


Under the creative direction of Raf Simons, the western (cowboy) shirt has become a signature. Mr Simons, of course, does not do them as if there were destined for the rodeo, but from where the inspiration came from, there is no ambiguity. While his take of the western shirt is modern, and undoubtedly polished, there is still, for some, the connect to Marlboro country.

For those of you unsure if the western shirt is way too fancy for you, consider the western polo shirt instead. This was seen in the CK Calvin Klein store. Credits to the CK Calvin Klein design team for picking a key look of the main collection and translating it into something as everyday as polo top. And making it somewhat un-countrified.

This easily tops anything that is seen on shelves of Ralph Lauren, if you are considering picking one there. We are partial to this version in cotton pique because of the subtle touch: a piped outline of the yoke that typifies the western shirt, only here, the lines are subtly curved rather that fancily marked out. The contrast colour of the yoke too makes it stand out, but just so. This is the shirt for a date that requires you to dress like you made effort, but not deliberately out to impress.

CK Calvin western polo shirt, SGD190, is available at all CJ Calvin Klein Stores. Photo: Jim Sim

(2018) Winter Style 1: The Statement Sweater

Survival of the Fashionest Ruth Brown sweater aw 2018.jpg

Pack a sweater and chances are you’ll have a neat little navy cashmere jumper ready for your suitcase. But sometimes you don’t wish to bring along something this vanilla, this expected, this easy to blend in. This is when you need a sweater with a flattened squirrel on it. And a tail that will wag around your crotch!

Whether this is clever/cheeky humour, it’s really up to you. But Dutch brand Survival of the Fashionest isn’t one to take design too seriously, without, at least, having fun with it. This sweater, for example, while not exactly Hello Kitty-cute, brings a smile to your face, even in the dreariest of winter weather.

In merino wool (which means it won’t be cashmere-plush), this crew-neck pullover has four buttons stitched to the bodice on which a helpless-looking same-wool squirrel is stretched out on all four limbs, and held in place by said buttons. Animal lovers may have a problem with what this may imply, but thankfully the pancaked squirrel can be removed if you find yourself in sensitive company.

Survival of the Fashionest was just founded last year by Dutch designer Joost Jansen. And already the brand’s stocked in Dover Street Market. A former design assistant at Walter Von Bereindonck and a production and research manager with Henrik Vibskov (whose e-shop stocks Survival of the Fashionest), Mr Jansen is a product designer by training, having graduated from the Design Academy of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Despite cutting his teeth at the Bereindonck studio, Mr Jansen’s designs are not weird to the point of unwearable and yet quirky enough to give the wearer both street and fashion cred, contrary as that may be. Winter wear really should be this fun.

Survival of the Fashionest wool-knit ‘Ruth Brown’ sweater, SGD1,280, is available at Dover Street Market Singapore. Photo: Henrik Vibskov Boutique. Montage: Just So

Wild Fire

Prada Flame Frame

Leaping flames, there’s something primordial about them. In fact, it was Darwin who considered fire—and language—two important achievements of humanity. So Prada’s playing with fire isn’t as frivolous as it appears to be.

Miuccia Prada turned up the heat for autumn/winter 2018 when she showed some bowling shirts with banana and floral prints caught above flames. But as early as June, stars such as Jeff Goldblum and Pusha T were seen wearing the flame motif on what could be two-different-shirts-come-together-as-one, and fashion news sites declared the Prada shirt “the hottest in fashion right now”.

But as anyone who has dealt with fire knows, it spreads. In her women’s show two months later, Ms Prada sent out shoes with wedge heels engulfed, a burning that had, in fact, previously appeared in the spring/summer season of 2012, on stilettos that could have been tourches, or giant matchsticks. Now, the same cartoonish flames—acetate laser cut-outs—arise on the frames of Prada eyewear, part of this year’s Ornate special collection.

The flames may be akin to those seen on fast cars and faster bikes—also known as ghost flames—but, set on the outer top left and right corners of the aviator-ish frames, have the feline allure of the cat glasses of the ’50s and ’60s. That, to us, is the immeasurable beauty of Prada: no matter how far out their designs are, they have never totally abandoned old-fashioned femininity.

Prada two-tone ‘Flame’ sunglasses, SGD550, from the Ornate special collection is available at select Prada stores and Sunglass Hut. Photos: Zhao Xiangji

So This Is It?

Could DSM’s announcement of Gosha Rubchinskiy’s “final delivery” be confirmation that the designer who made Cyrillic text and the country’s skate aesthetic cool is putting an end to his label? Or, is this merely the last drop for the autumn/winter collection?


Gosha AW 2018

By Ray Zhang

In April this year, Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy announced via Instagram that his eponymous label will cease to exist “as you know it”. The brand further elaborated that “there will be no more seasonal collections”. Fans were hopeful: no more seasonal collections does not mean a complete halt—Mr Rubchinskiy could do ‘projects’ in limited runs, which would increase the brand’s desirability. Mr Rubchinskiy also told Hypebeast at the opening of DSM Beijing that he “is a bit tired doing season-to-season collections.” He also said, during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi in May, that “Every idea has a time and what I wanted to express, I expressed it.” An extended sabbatical is not unreasonable.

Still, the announcement is sad because if he should stop, it would be at a time when the discerning street-style consumer is beginning to appreciate his brand more. Those who have no love for the over-hyped nothingness of Supreme and Off-White see Gosha Rubchinskiy as a designer with a true and clear design vision, and a voice that is articulate. This is a designer who wears authenticity like a badge, and not as token salute. It was he who channeled sporty geekiness into fashionable threads way before Gucci’s Tenebaums uncool cool. And he looked no further than his native Russia, not quite the next Korea, but still with enough faraway exception and artistic nous to be compelling.

It could be considered a smart move to not tether your name to street wear, now, for many a passport to fame. But Mr Rubchinskiy isn’t distancing himself from a category that gave him his start. Reportedly, his immediate plan is to grow Paccbet, a casual, skate-centric line he started with his skate pals and some artists. There’s even going to be a skate shop in Moscow—the “coolest” in the city, according to the designer.

If Mr Rubchinskiy is moving towards being Russia’s first global luxury brand, it may be strategically advantageous to take a break to re-position. It was reported that Gosha Rubchinskiy is supported by Comme des Garçons (including production and distribution). The brand’s closure would not have made business sense, but, according to a Business of Fashion report, CDG claimed to be in collaboration with Mr Rubchinskiy, project-based, for the next couple of years or so. They emphasised that they “want to find new a way to make and sell products.”

The fickleness of fashion is notorious. Maybe it’s wise that Gosha Rubchinskiy is getting out while he’s hot.

Photo: Dover Street Market

Badge Of Honour?

You’d think they won’t go further than smartphone covers. But with Prada’s ID case in stores, there’s nothing that you use in your life that luxury brands wont try to cover


Prada ID case AW 2018

In the past, carrying a designer key ring was a big deal. It said something about one’s economic status or love of things designer. Now that we are in the age of the key card and biometric authentication, key rings are not only less seen, they are reduced business  and licensing opportunities for luxury brands.

The product development divisions of fashion houses, however, don’t quite give up. From trinkets for bags to protective covers for smartphones, the product category keeps expanding, outpacing even those of department stores. Joining the ranks of non-fashion items given a luxury riff this season is the humble ID case; only in the case of Prada, not so humble.

These first appeared in the Prada autumn/winter 2018 show in February. It is not unreasonable if you had thought there were used as props. But Prada rarely shows things they do not intend to sell in their stores. We took a close look at the ID case recently and found it to be more decorative than practical.

The clip-on version comes with two slots, but neither are large enough for an EZ-Link card. The windowed slot on the right can be used to frame a passport photo, not an actual security ID you are likely to use to gain entry into your secured work space. Who, we wonder, would like to wear their selfie on their body like a badge? KOLs, don’t you think?

Prada Saffiano leather clip-on ID case, SGD290, is available at Prada stores. Photo: Zhao Xiangji

The Superfluous Extra

What’s that hanging from your neck, a dead stingray?

By Ray Zhang

So, another Balenciaga item has outraged the online community: the T-shirt with a bibbed-on shirt. How thrilled Balenciaga’s social media managers must be. I mean, why bother to post when you don’t gun for a reaction, preferably one that borders on extremely strong disapproval. Censure has its advantages. It is what those who think they’re truly fashionable thrive on since wearing something the rest frown upon is deemed uncommon stylishness, or the stuff of fashion-week oomph. Besides, fashion for many—adopters or observers—isn’t quite fashion unless it is something outlandish, something you and I will point at and giggle at and scoff at, but won’t have on our backs.

I don’t know about you, but I feel we’re too easily provoked by these marketing ploys, these haha-I-got-yous. Balenciaga isn’t a greenhorn in the space of the #OOTD; they don’t post inane influencer photos to illicit “you’re so cute” gushiness. They want to provoke; they want to rouse vehement reactions. And you’ve given it to them. In turn, public reaction, even negative—better still, negative, becomes reason-to-buy for those who think nothing of scoring an over a thousand (SG) dollars sweatshirt so that people won’t miss the Balenciaga logo emblazoned in the back like a reclining Buddha.

Having said that, I do feel there’s something here that deserves more than casual observation or Twitter bitchery. The shirt on a T-shirt idea is not terribly new. Fans of Comme des Garçons will remember that the Japanese label has had two-in-ones (and hint of), as well as two-as-one in their collections before. Why, even our own Depression did not resist the temptation to mount one garment on another and sold them as single items.

Of course, in the case of Balenciaga, designer Demna Gvasalia has to have a point of differentiation. He made both of the two pieces—T-shirt and the connected-at-the-neck-shirt—wearable. Unlike Siamese twins, these are meant to be permanently conjoined. For the wearer, this is literally two-as-one (price wise, it is, naturally, two-for-two!): you can wear the tee and let the shirt hang out meaninglessly in the front. Or, wear the shirt and let the tee dangle at the back, like a child’s limp superhero cape. The truly imaginative will, of course, be able to think of the extra clothing’s usefulness: shirt in front can be handy when eating chilli crab; tee at the back perfect for those unfortunate times when the back of kopi tiam chairs are inexplicably dirty.

I am all for the two-in-one (or the idea of a two-in-one, as in a twofer), but I don’t see the creativity in the Balenciaga twinning except the needless contrariness. Nobody needs an extra piece of clothing hanging in the front or at the back. But, I suppose one impotent and ordinary shirt hanging on a T-shirt is less offensive than any of those downright rude messages slapped on tees that people now wear with such head-up pride.

Balenciaga T-Shirt Shirt, SGD1,800 is available at Balenciaga, Paragon. Photo: Balenciaga/Instagram

Big In Balenciaga

Balenciaga AW 2018 P1

How many coats do we need? Not that we, living near the equator, would really know, but if Balenciaga’s latest collection is to be accepted, quite a few. And not just for different days, but for wearing them at one go. Kiasuism (or should that be kiasiism?!) is well and alive, and has found its way to Paris, and is happily expounded by Demna Gvasalia. As it appears, you may not be warm enough until you look warm enough.

Or, perhaps, there aren’t that many. It’s just an illusion, as the Imagination song goes. Maybe they are simply more-than-twofers. It is possible they are fourfers, or maybe fivefers! We couldn’t tell from in front of our Surface Pro. The streaming was too well edited, and we were too amused, borderline entranced: Can outerwear look so delightfully monstrous— malformations that will do Victor Frankenstein proud?

Mr Gvasalia understands the importance of keeping the shapes of Balenciaga intriguing. The house was built on that. In fact, he has always made a statement in body-obscuring outerwear, the way other designers underscore the histrionic possibilities of gowns. Remember the oversized anoraks of his debut women’s collection around this time in 2016, or the weird, boxy, rigid coats of his first men’s wear collection not longer after? Big is key to Mr Gvasalia’s Balenciaga, misrepresenting the size of the body is the idea. Not Fernando Botero-big, but certainly Niki de Saint Phalle-distorted. The outerwear immediately gave the show (and subsequent ones) the imprimatur of youthful, if geeky, hipness.

Balenciaga AW 2018 G1

The distortion, in fact, can be likened to Cristobal Balenciaga’s imagining of silhouettes that broke away from what was considered appealing at that time. Looking back, the cocoon must have been rather shocking for women who were used to what came after Dior, but it was pivotal to the couturier’s exploration of the spaces between body and garment, which in itself can be traced to the east—to Japan, where the kimono, too, embody this complicated, ultimately sensual, relationship.

It is hard to resist the temptation of joining the dots between Mr Gvasalia’s outsized, warped outers and developments in the east. The over-layering seems to challenge the very notion that looking like a country-bumpkin cousin of the Michelin man is not really stylish. In fact, the idea of Uniqlo’s winter-travel must-have Heattech is to allow one to don fewer pieces or to trim down the volume, but that preference for bulk-reducing sleekness is now delightfully barred from Balenciaga’s doors.

In addition, those big jackets, teamed with scarves covering the head, truly remind us of the 1992 Zhang Yimou film The Story of Qiu Ju (秋菊打官司) in which Gong Li, playing the protagonist, goes to the city from her rural home in what, to her, must have been her finest threats, but were, in fact, her version of maternity wear, styled for the sophistication and snobbery of the city. Qiu Ju, as it appears now, was rather ahead of her time! What must costume designer Tong Huamiao, who was also behind Raise the Red Lantern (大红灯笼高高挂), be thinking now?

Balenciaga AW 2018 G2.jpg

The shape shifts/enhancements are also applied to blazers and overcoats—fairly straight forward styles with stiff, almost linear shoulders, but with rounded, unnaturally pronounced hips, a silhouette that debuted in Mr Gvasalia’s first collection for Balenciaga. We admit that, back then, we didn’t take to this strange constriction, as well as the exaggeration with delight. They appeared, at first gawk, like subjects of Velázquez’s painting adopting waist-down bumps for their riding coats. It truly looked odd, as if of another era, Spanish or not. The modestly panniered jackets appeared once more, but this time, they are like selfies—you get used to them.

Even the men’s jackets and coats have exaggerated hips, as if they’re some kind of cardboard cutouts for a new hour-glass ideal of the male species. Designers have been feminising men’s wear for many years, using fabrics and colours usually preferred for clothes with bust darts, and giving guys skirts—in some extreme cases, dresses—to wear. But nothing is perhaps more feminine that according a man prominent hips! A diminishing of conventional musculature, of primal motivations, and a visual leveler of the power between sexes that’s part of Balenciaga’s ‘agender’?

Perhaps, therein lies the newness: the man with child-bearing hips. Stud not! Sometimes, with Mr Gvasalia, you wonder if this is really a gag, or a detail to draw the sexes closer. Unisex designs have, till now, largely been about making clothes that align with men’s aesthetics rather than with women’s: that’s why unisex clothes have largely been shirts, T-shirts, hoodies, and pants, sized to accommodate the girls. It is rarely, if ever, the other way round: there are unisex shirts, but no unisex blouses. Is Mr Gvasalia making a point about gender rather than sex?

Balenciaga AW 2018 G3

For sure, it’s hard to say that Balenciaga is sexy. This season, however, the show opened with six short, body hugging dresses, but when the “Time’s Up”, it’s hard to look at these dresses and think that the wearer wants more than to look good. These are likely more merchandising anomaly than sexual aggression. Mr Gvasalia has made quirky-stylish-norm so much a part of Balenciaga that it is hard to imagine he’s doing an Anthony Vaccarello here. Sure, these clothes are not for clambakes or curry chicken potlucks, but they are far from taking the Tatler Ball by storm.

From the dad look to one that is mom-sy, Balenciaga sometimes appears to be Mr Gvasalia’s private joke. Take those pencil skirts, for example. The primness is underscored by their high-waist and past-the-knee length, yet the front overlap slit reveals an additional panel that looks like exposed, unlined inside, which, if one remembers, were once considered so unsightly that women had to wear petticoats under their skirts to conceal exposed hems and over-lock stitches. It’s now a design feature and it has a rather home-sew feel to it; yes, mom.

Balenciaga, in its new aesthetic form, was, admittedly, hard to digest in the beginning. The turning point for us here at SOTD was the spring/summer 2018 collection, now seen in the stores. We were sold on those seemingly plain work shirts and were even more taken, seeing them up-close, with the collar—button-down in the front (to the disapproval of the office sex pot, we’re sure), but gently scooped in the rear. That’s the beauty of Balenciaga now: it’s not so straightforward black and white, and, certainly, not front and back.

Photos: Balenciaga

Comfort Factor: A Jil Sander Perspective

Jil Sander AW 2018 P1

It was an inspired follow-up. Our excitement with the debut output of Lucie and Luke Meier for Jil Sander was obvious. In their sophomore outing, the Meiers held us spellbound. Again. It was a collection that kept to some of the Jil Sander codes, but yet eschewed thoughtless two-pieces-of-oblongs minimalism trend of the past years for ideas and details that enhanced the duo’s concept of what is comfortable clothing. Comfort, it seemed, had to do with padding, wrapping, insulation, and the spaces between. We wanted to immediately slip into the coats, the dresses, the pants, and feel the fabrics against our skin. This is tactile and aesthetic high, even in front of a tablet screen.

So much of Italian fashion these days have been wanking around weirdness, circumventing comprehension, and dodging discernment that what the Meiers proposed was a veritable feast for the eyes, more so since dress excess has not reached a tipping point. These were immensely desirable clothes in as much as themselves as the feelings they arose. They stood out: we wanted that and that and that… and that, to be sure, was a good feeling.

Jil Sander AW 2018 G1

We sought out the contours and the textures; we wanted to be coddled by the clothes, never mind if the chance of wearing so many of the pieces would be slim when September comes. The Meiers were unapologetic in their pursuit of supreme comfort, a quality we seem to have abandoned in favour of the outrageous and the overwrought. They’ve put comfort centre-catwalk and it beckoned. The clothes looked like bedding transmogrified, blankets re-purposed, and, as Linus van Pelt knows, in them, there isn’t just comfort to be had, there is security, too.

While augmenting the idea of palpable comfort with models carrying what appeared to be folded duvets (but could be oversized clutches) might seem a tad ridiculous, we did find the belted wraps worn by the guys somewhat intriguing. Could they be some kind of side-way, underarm capes? Less effective was the quilt used as a sort of obi belt. You’d have to have to be encased in a corset to look good in it, or be very, very thin.

Jil Sander AW 2018 G2

Jil Sander AW 2018 G3

Something else the Meiers brought back that we, too, thought was alluring: asymmetry. The knitwear sat askew across the neck, across the bodice, across the hips; a dress sported, on one side, rows of what appeared to be darts, but looked like gills; and tulip skirts puffed like slightly deflated lanterns. Under all that comfort was visual discomfort, orderliness disorderliness. The sum effect of comfort need not be perfect or uniform. Comfort can afford creases, folds, and rumples. With them, we’re more comfortable.

In terms of references, there was a hint of Orientalism. Nothing Sino-centric, just Chinese blanket prints visualised on coats and skirts, tunic-like shapes that hinted at Manchurian robes, arm bands that could be the contemporary cousins of those used in Red China, and a shirt opening that followed the meander and direction of the qipao. These were allowed European winds to warp their providence. Obviousness is not a modern trait, evocation is. And Lucie and Luke Meier have certainly evoked something in Jil Sander.

Photos: Jil Sander