Linda Tegg creates a living installation for Jil Sander at its Milanese HQ
Ever since they moved to Milan to take the helm as creative directors of Jil Sander in spring 2017, husband and wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier, who grew up by the ocean in Vancouver and in the Swiss Alps respectively, have felt the absence of the natural world keenly in their day to day lives. ‘In both of those places you’re surrounded by nature,’ Luke Meier explains. ‘We live a very urban lifestyle right now. The city is a beautiful place, but whenever we have free time we go to the ocean, the lakes or the mountains.’
Their pursuit of the organic has crept into their collections for the brand, which is best known for pioneering minimalism – in handcrafted coat linings and AW19 hand-drawn herons, but also in the bursts of green plantlife which invade their otherwise pristine show sets. And as of this autumn, it will emerge, too, in Jil Sander+, a new series of seasonal collections for men and women, designed specifically for life outside of the city. For A/W 2019, the brand has collaborated with Mackintosh to create a series of highly functional outerwear pieces and accessories, which complement the luxurious yet utilitarian new take on clothes for the outdoors.
Each Jil Sander+ collection will also manifest in an artist collaboration. This season, it takes the form of ‘Adjacent Field’, a living installation celebrating Milan’s urban flora, conceived by Melbourne-based artist Linda Tegg within the brand’s Milan headquarters. ‘Bringing a living being from one side of the wall to the other can disrupt the logic of spaces that are very anthropocentric and hygienic,’ Tegg explains.
Mosses, succulents, ivy and wild sage have all been sourced in and around the city by the artist, who collaborated with architecture practice Baracco+Wright to create a living grassland within the Australian Pavilion for 2018’s Venice Architecture Biennale. ‘Adjacent Field’ is supported by a light installation by Nic Burnham of NDYLight. ‘It’s a reminder, too, that we have to take care of the environment, nurture it,’ Lucie adds. And to that end: once the installation ends, a selection of the plants will be repurposed to form a permanent, modular garden within the space – a literal ecosystem to mirror the creative one that the brand, which has long upheld close connections with the worlds of art and design, is proud to sustain already. ‘It’s very much to do with living,’ Luke adds. ‘Even in an urban environment, there’s an intimacy we can have with nature.’ §