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Bright hues, innovative evening wear and master tailoring are only a few highlights from Raf Simons groundbreaking spring/summer 2011 collection for Jil Sander. The show that, in one’s mind, solidified the Belgium designer, trained formally in furniture design, as a force to be reckoned with in women’s fashion. Simons was always considered a leader in the menswear industry, his namesake brand is often a goldmine for trend forecasting of seasons to come, but until spring 2011 his aesthetic was largely seen as paired down and austere in the stratosphere of womenswear. His colorful collection began as a thought provoking case study on maximalism and the traditional practice of haute couture, seen through the creative eyes of fashion’s favorite ‘minimalist’. The fourty-four look collection opened with eveningwear and evolved into a beautiful garden of patterns, tailoring, and couture techniques, all tied fluidly together through Simons’ heightened sense for color this season, à la the late and great Yves Saint Laurent. The designer had some fun with accessories, showing plenty of captivating bug-eyed sunglasses and plastic shopping bags as purses, one of fashion’s favorite handbags of late, similar styles have more recently been seen on the runways of Celine and Balenciaga. This powerful show was filled with standout looks that were perfectly curated on the runway and possibly even more powerful when broken apart. Bravo Raf!