Since the beginning of November and until 6 May 2018, the Museum Angewandte Kunst will show the exhibition “Jil Sander. Präsens”, which is dedicated to the influential fashion designer. It is her world-first solo exhibition, with multi-media installations and tableaus devoted to the impact of her design approach on the aesthetics, material and form of fashion and product design, architecture and garden art. The multifaceted presentation will showcase the ingenuity and creative power of Jil Sander as a designer whose primary objective is to bring out a person’s personality. Curated by Matthias Wagner K in close cooperation with Jil Sander, the exhibition is divided into the following thematic sections: runway, backstage, studio, fashion lines, accessories, cosmetics, fashion photography and advertising campaigns, fashion and art, architecture and garden art.
Jil Sanders strong sense of trends
Jil Sander’s significance as a fashion designer is due to an extraordinary perceptivity which enabled her to anticipate trends and changes in society. She developed modern shapes and has transformed our notions of beauty and identity. In each of her collections, she remains true to herself and her design principles, which are reflected in the harmony of proportion, sophisticated three-dimensionality, understatement and dynamic elegance. The combination of architecture, colour, light, film, sound, text, photography, fashion and art in dynamic spatial compositions brings forth a new and current compendium of work that becomes an aesthetic event through “Jil Sanders. Präsens”.
About Jil Sander
Jil Sander was born on 27 November 1943 in Wesselburen as Heidemarie Jiline Sander. After finishing school, she studied textile engineering. After a period abroad as a student, she first started to write for various women’s magazines as a fashion editor. She soon noticed that the fashion of the time did not reflect her ideas of a changing society. This prompted her to begin designing her own fashion. The creations were characterised by muted colours and formal rigidity, which she presented for the first time in 1973 in her prêt-à-porter shop in Hamburg’s Pöseldorf neighbourhood opened five years previously. A few years later, she devoted herself to designing perfume and developed her own fragrance and bodycare products for men and women. The fragrances are very popular and are still seen as classics in the perfume industry to this day.
Fashion as an expression of society
Unlike the fashion centre of Paris, Jil Sander developed her own style back then, designing her fashion in a puristic way. German culture with its social currents from the respective eras served as her inspiration. She developed new cutting, weaving, processing and production techniques that led to a new language of form in the world of fashion. She devoted her undivided attention to the materials she needed for her designs. After intensive research on materials, she started to import avantgarde high-tech weaves from Japan and worked with Italian manufacturers on developing new materials with sculptural formability. The only opulence in fashion by Jil Sander relates to the material used and the three-dimensionality of the cuts. Everything else is designed in an understated manner.
She presented her collection at Milan Fashion Week for the first time in 1980, and still takes part twice a year. This led to a huge success which resulted in her company going public in 1989. 1997 was the first time she designed clothes for men. With innovative materials and completely new tailoring designs involving horsehair and canvas inserts, the fashion for men aims to emphasise the natural figure.
From a fashion label to an internationally successful luxury brand
The established fashion label grew into an international luxury brand, resulting among other things in the collaboration with the agency Scholz & Friends. Scholz & Friends Group is one of the leading creative agency groups in the German-speaking world and combines all communication tools under one roof. Alongside the German agency offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf, the network is represented in other European markets.
In addition, Jil Sander worked together with German designer Peter Schmidt to design bottles for her perfumes as well as her iconic brand logo. For campaign photography, which is so important in the area of fashion, she worked with Peter Lindbergh, Irving Penn, David Sims, Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti and Jean-François Lepage. In 1993, US architect Michael Gabellini helped her to build her first flagship store, which is ground-breaking for the entire industry and is located at Avenue Montaigne 50 in Paris. Other stores followed in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo.
In 1999, the Jil Sander brand was sold to Italian company Prada. After a five-year hiatus, Jil Sander returned as creative director of the global Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo, and designed the “+J” collection for men and women. The motto of her line is “Luxury in simplicity, purity in design, beauty and comfort for all”. For just a few years, Jil Sander returned to her eponymous brand as creative director in 2012. The Jil Sander brand is now owned by Japanese company Onward Holdings Co. Ltd.
Book recommendation for the exhibition
To coincide with the exhibition, on 16 November Prestel Verlag published a high-quality book with texts from Matthias Wagner K and Ingeborg Harms, designed by Jasmin Kress. The publication “Jil Sander: Präsens” is published in german language, comprises 263 pages and costs EUR 10 less in the museum bookshop than in retail.
You will find further information about the opening times, the entry fees and how you can reach the museum on the museum’s website: http://www.museumangewandtekunst.de/en/.
Posted on 30.11.2017
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