With the news out that this was to be Raf Simons’ last collection for Jil Sander, he was certainly under pressure to deliver something special as his swansong. Thankfully, what he proposed for autumn 12 was not only serenely beautiful but also perhaps his finest hour at the label’s helm. Emerging tearful before a room full of fashion luminaries standing to applaud, Simons was clearly in an emotional mood, a feeling his collection was imbued with throughout. From the dreamy soft pastel palette of pinks, blues, greys, beiges and tans in the early part of the collection to the fluid, graceful lines of the curved-shouldered coats (the standout pieces), it was a quietly confident show. The gentle romanticism gave way to a harder finale with black leather and PVC dresses adding a typical Simons edge to the Belgian’s final flourish. Jil’s got herself a hard act to follow.