Does Raf Simons have designs on Galliano's old job?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Creative director quits at Jil Sander – fuelling speculation he's set for the hot seat at Dior

Italian fashion house Jil Sander yesterday announced that its creative director Raf Simons would step down from his post after the label's autumn 2012 show in Milan this Saturday.

Rumours of Simons' departure have been whispered around the industry for almost six months, and the announcement will only serve to increase speculation that the Belgian designer is destined for the top job at French house Christian Dior, a vacancy that has remained conspicuously unfilled since John Galliano's dismissal last March.

"Jil Sander thanks Raf Simons for his dedicated commitment to the brand and wishes him the very best for the future," the company said in a statement. "The group will communicate the appointment of a new creative director in the next few days."

In a strange twist, Jil Sander herself, the German designer who founded the label in 1968, gave an interview published yesterday in which she told the German magazine Gaia that she would like to return to the brand which bears her name. The Milan-based company has declined to comment on this.

Sander originally left the label in 2000 after selling a 75 per cent stake to the Prada Group, citing disagreements with CEO Patrizio Bertelli. They negotiated a truce and she returned in 2003, only to leave again the following year for the same reason. After a period of retirement, Sander's name became common currency once more when she signed on to collaborate with Japanese high street chain Uniqlo in 2009.

Since his appointment to the label in 2005, designer Raf Simons has brought his own version of conceptual femininity to Jil Sander. Originally a brand that thrived during the Nineties vogue for minimal design with its androgynous subversion of the masculine wardrobe, Simons' more delicate version of fashionable purism has widened the label's reach and developed its personality considerably.

"I was thinking about the heritage of Jil Sander," he said backstage at last season's acclaimed show, in which he mixed Fifties dirndl skirts and dresses with paisley and Picasso prints, "but I don't want to use her methods anymore. I want it to be sexier, more romantic." Simons' past three collections have been dubbed his "couture trilogy" by some, as his aesthetic has reached ever more ambitious and exquisite heights. Could they have been preparation for a new beginning elsewhere? The fashion world waits with baited breath.

Meanwhile, the catwalk schedule continued with MaxMara and Fendi yesterday showing two very different versions of luxury. The former developed several trends to have emerged previously in both New York and London, with military-inspired olive greatcoats made from double cashmere, as well as houndstooth and Prince of Wales check knits embellished with sparkling crystals.

Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Fendi is sure to divide opinion, with its use of exotic furs and skins. Tufted fox decorated the shoulders of cable- knit sweaters, while goat hair was dyed canary yellow for a shaggy and striking finale. Whatever the ethical dilemmas, there is a demand for such materials in Italy – and, most importantly, the emerging markets – and this is a collection sure to satisfy those tastes.

Yesterday evening also saw another of Milan's biggest names unveiling their autumn range. "I didn't want to talk about power, but about being important," said Miuccia Prada after showing her collection of mainly tailored pieces, printed with vintage lozenge and rhomboid prints from the label's own archive. "And about the importance of beauty. It wasn't ideas, just clothes."

These came in an idiosyncratic silhouette, with waists cinched at empire-line height by belts with chunky plastic buckles, short trousers layered with mid-length kilt-style skirts and cropped frock coats with tails that were also embellished with plastic tiles, crystals and mirrored beads.

Initial pieces in plain black wool felt austere, but as the collection moved from darker separates to suiting, a palette of increasingly challenging colour combinations emerged. The graphic prints had a seventies feel - in orange and purple, mustard and brown, even navy and black - and repeating pastille imagery was picked out in 3D with yet more oversized plastic adornments.

"They were fake prints," Prada said. "Just plastic not jewels. It was poor embroidery."

But it was of the highest quality, of course, from a powerhouse known for her attention to detail.

Fashion week in Milan continues today with catwalk shows from Versace and Moschino.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

    C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

    Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

    £55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

    Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

    Day In a Page

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?