I remember thinking, “This looks like something a clown would wear,” as I held up a gigantic orange skirt that was longer than my entire body. It had a froof sprouting from the top. The froof, I would soon learn, was called a peplum and shortly after my vocabulary lesson, the skirt and its accompanying collection would become one of my favorites.
It’s funny how you can hate something at first, or not understand it, or find it weird, and then just by virtue of being around it, learning about it, and strangely enough — thinking about it — you can suddenly fall completely in love. But that’s what happens when Raf Simons designed for Jil Sander.
I was interning at a magazine when the Spring 2011 collection launched and the editors would not stop calling his pieces in: the enormous navy and white striped tent of a dress, the floral air-ballooned gown. The t-shirts — those simple, could-have-been-Hanes t-shirts practically started wars when there weren’t enough samples to go around with their partnered floor-length neon skirts. One what-I-thought-was-a-skirt was actually a pair of gigantic green trousers. Do you believe me when I say I didn’t know they made pants like that?
The collection was like nothing I’d ever seen, and I haven’t forgotten or stopped being inspired by it since. In fact, I’m not sure another show has had this same heart-thumping-then-stopping impact on me since. It’s what they say: you never forget your first.
What was yours?
Images courtesy of Vogue.com