Milan: Max Mara’s triple play
A busy 24 hours and a triple play by Max Mara, which staged its latest signature collection in splendid runway show; unveiled a fresh Weekend Max Mara collection by Patricia Urquiola; and debuted a cool new Max & Co collection by Efisio Marras.
Max Mara’s designer Ian Griffiths loves an intellectual inspiration, but if the results are clothes as sophisticated as this Fall/Winter 2022 collection that is no bad thing.
This season his wellspring was the architect, textile designer and sculptor Sophie Taeuber-Arp, whose pals Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst and Guillaume Apollinaire all congregated at Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire, where Taeuber-Arp’s displayed her improvised costumes and marionettes.
Ian’s modernist muse led to a great collection of spectacular volume; unlikely yet flattering combinations of fabrics, all in a mellifluous autumnal color palette.
Plus, after a London season bereft of superstars it was good to Bella and Gigi Hadid make appearances in Milan. Bella in a putty brown ensemble of cocoon skirt, sleek knit top and a shearling fanny pack, all in the most exquisite proportions.
Though hyper feminine the looks never fey. Aided by some very novel footwear; all-wool boots, padded like armor plating that finished in brothel-keeper shoes. A trick also seen in ribbed cashmere roll necks that were worn with wide roll-up pants. Mixed in with padded minis and floor sweeping coats, this was a great deep winter look.
Ian also supported a major European trend – the balaclava, seen in woolly knits or head-wrapping cowls. Ironically, the super wrapped Max Mara style emerged on a sunny day in northern Italy and not in last week’s storm in southern England. Nonetheless, that still did not make this collection look less than prescient.
Max & Co
The evening before, Max Mara unveiled its debut collab’ with Efisio Marras for Max & Co.
“I’ve always been obsessed by Ireland. We are even going to shoot our campaign there. In Connemara,” enthused Marras, a keen horseman, as he toured FashionNetwork.com through his first ideas.
Entitled 'Pony Kids', the clothes were inspired by the famous black and white photo album by Perry Ogden of urban teenagers and Irish travelers who kept horses in their back gardens in inner city Dublin.
Featuring cool assemblages of Irish county tartans – the Scottish make tartans for their family clans, the Irish for their regions. Cool waistcoats with faded plaids, where the waistcoat was just a lightweight front, and super cool new micro aviator puffers in bubblegum pink.
In a word, Efisio gets how young women want to dress, being cool and comfortable at the same time.
Max Mara Weekend
This week, Max Mara also presented a new Weekend collection, the second by Patricia Urquiola.
Entitled 'Habito', and designed by the renowned architect and designer Urquiola, it marked the 10th collection of Weekend.
An accomplished creator, Urquiola dreamed up hyper large silhouettes, wide and loose and ideal for a lazy weekend. Hybrid style, with unexpected mismatches of contrasting graphics, colors and textures. But the net result felt overly complicated and stubborn.
Lots of inventive parkas, and yet all rather heavy, as is often the case when interior decorators try their hand at fashion.
“I didn’t search out fashion. Max Mara came to me,” said Urquiola, an architect, from a profession never known for a sense of modesty.
Let’s be serious here. Can anyone recall a truly great fashion collection created by an architect? Back in the 80s and 90s with Gianfranco Ferrè yes, for sure. But since then very little.
Otherwise, this was a great 24 hours for Max Mara; bar the architect doing them a favor.
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