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Jil Sander for Uniqlo

Model_ Iselin Steiro
Photographer_ David Sims
Joe McKenna

Went to the Uniqlo store this afternoon to check out the new collaboration with Jil Sander for spring-summer 2010: +J. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t the mad frenzy that usually follows these sort of launches: Kate Moss for Topshop, the H&M link-ups. It was, well, quite civilzed. I kind of liked that. Clearly displayed product. Light, airy store. You got the feeling that anyone who made it to the store was there because they were genuinely curious or just happened to be there. Perfect.

Now for the clothes. This was the first drop so the whole collection wasn’t in-store just yet. What was there I liked a lot. It seemed more Jil than the first outing, more confident, more streamlined without getting too high-brow. Lots of immaculately cut tailoring and sportswear-inspired pieces in technical fabrics. Nothing to scare the horses but the essence of Jil Sander has always been about subtlety and the absolute.

There were loads of fine details and I got the sense that on closer inspection a lot of the clothes would reveal clever, luxe touches. I was really impressed with the seam finishes. A standout piece for me was a cropped woman’s blazer in a cobalt-y nylon that had the feel of a silk duchesse. The sleeves were slightly curved in that über masculine way. It would look so chic paired with anything really. Winner.

I walked away with a perfect, perfect shirt in what I can best describe as overdyed techno chambray but in actual fact it was 100% cotton. I just know I’m going to wear and wear that shirt. It’s going to look great with my new black Kenzo blazer and washed out grey jeans. Sharp.

My only reservation would be that I’d like to see more modern decorative treatments, especially in the womenswear. Yes, I know its Uniqlo but it all veers a little bit too much towards the minimal. Expressive gestures a la Jil wouldn’t go amiss…

Oh, my shirt only cost £29.99. Will definitely be stocking up on some more pieces. Bargain. In fact, nothing in the entire range costs more than a 100 quid. We like!

Also like the logo: U + J

Click here to go to the_

Women Management blog for a piece on the shoot

+J Uniqlo website and

press release

Off to see what all the fuss is about later on today. Read a piece in the paper the other day that Jil’s new collection for the Japanese brand is being launched today. Wasn’t too keen on the debut range. The new collection’s meant to have more of a sartorial bent. Let’s see…


The show notes at Raf Simons for Jil Sander in Milan last week [I wasn’t there, by the way] cite the film Zabriskie Point – love and sociopathic misdemeanours in an urban/desert setting. Ripped, frayed edges. Rough-hewn. Happenstance. Make do and mend. Rhythm in chaos. And so forth…

I saw something else.

A very popular breakfast cereal, actually.

Shredded Wheat, actually.

Real Shredded Wheat. And Oliver Twist.

I can see it now. Raf boy, in his arte-povera get-up going up to the orphanage maîtresse – Suzy/Cathy/Sarah – and asking, “could I have more shredded wheat please?”


“More shredded wheat, please…”

At this point La Maîtresse will pull Raf up to her bosom, give him a hug, stroke his hair and coo from her-her-her triple lips: “Of course you can, my darling, of course you can! Miuccia, another Shreddie for Raf. NOW!” [You see, Miuccia has been a very, very naughty girl this season and as punishment she wont be having any breakfast until  the next round of pre-collections at least.]

He is Raf and he can do no wrong in her-her-her eyes.

See for yourself. The man has a winning way with ripping and melding fabric. The way he subtly layered texture was quietly  powerful. He put bone white with cream  and made it work which is extremely difficult to do. The styling was also great. The way the models hiked up their belted hessian-y coats and put their hands in the pockets of those beautifully cut mannish trousers created a hybrid 50s meets Victoriana silhouette. Very clever. And the focus on daywear was also quite refreshing. I must say, I thought it was rather beautiful. A tad overlong and a few shockers here and there. But beautiful all the same. Sexy, cerebral [sic cereal] clothes that felt new even though he was reading from a well-thumbed manual. That takes genius. Talk about needle in a haystack!

Go on, Raf, you can have two.