After seven years away from her own, eponymous label, Jil Sander is returning to the catwalk this weekend to show her menswear collection on the runway in Milan.
Raf Simons - the designer whose clean vision has kept the Jil Sander brand in the hearts, minds and wardrobes of women who value minimalism and sophistication - took his last bow after the Jil Sander autumn/winter 2012 show in February, and is set to show his first collection at the helm of Dior in Paris for the couture collections in July.
Fashion pundits are keen to see how 68-year-old Sander will progress the brand after Simons hugely successful tenure.
You need a clean, modern approach and to have quality: clothes that are three-dimensional and not classic and boring,' she says in the International Herald Tribune. It is a very thin edge.
Im working less on decoration, more on form pattern-making and materials, with a lot of dresses in the collection in a good modern way.
Sander founded her label in 1968 and finally left in 2004, after protracted disagreements with Prada, who owned her publicly-listed company at the time. In the intervening years, Hamburg-based Sander has travelled extensively and collaborated with Japanese brand Uniqlo on several +J collections that were well-received by fans of her sleek aesthetic.
The IHT reports that Sander has already finished working on much of the womenswear collection that she will show in September, and tells us to expect her signature blazers in fresh fabrics.
The paper also suggests that there will be two elephants in the room this weekend. The first is Raf Simons, the Belgian designer who is her successor at the Jil Sander label, writes Suzy Menkes. Although Mr. Simons has since been tapped as the creative director at Christian Dior in Paris, there is still a lingering feeling that he was pushed out ungraciously by Ms. Sanders comeback.
Then there is Phoebe Philo, the 30-something designer at Celine, who has created a female following similar to those women who were wedded to Jil Sanders original style and her serene, no-fuss attitude. Ms. Philo, who has made minimalism her mantra, stood out against the girly glamour of the new millennium. Céline has even offered women streamlined pants the workhorse of a working mothers wardrobe and an update of the Jil Sander legacy.
Needless to say, all eyes will be on the Sander catwalk on Saturday to see how Sander responds to succeeding her successor.