Max Mara’s new collection is a manifesto for women who appreciate the brilliant, elegant simplicity.
From Vitruvius to Rasmussen; the architectural greats have made a habit of bundling up their ideas into high-minded treatises. After 65 years in the game, Max Mara could feasibly field a design manifesto to rival any of them. That reverence for the guiding principle is more Nordic than Latin and there’s something about the company’s mission to bring luxury within reach (just within reach, provided you work hard enough) that chimes with Scandinavian ideas about democratic design.
In 1940’s Sweden, newlyweds received low interest loans from the state to furnish their homes and the quasi-evangelical Svenska Slöjdföreningen taught them how to spend it. Spreading the credo that beauty is honesty, they laid down the rules; a linoleum floor should look like linoleum, not stone; the construction of an armchair should be clearly expressed, not hidden beneath extraneous cladding; superfluous decoration should be shunned. Max Mara has no argument with any of that -after all, why would you want to make cashmere or camel’s hair look like anything other than what it is.
Not that the Swedish design canon (or its icy climate) produced a nation of cold phlegmatic; to wit the legends Ingrid Bergman and Anita Ekberg, whose frosty veneer barely contained utterly Italianate temperaments. Just like the Winter 2017/18 collection, that works the Italian sartorial tradition with a Nordic twist. The mood is most eloquently summarized by Johnny Dynell who counterpoints soundtrack remixes Vivaldi to a Scandinavian nu-wave beat.
Colours from the MaxMara pantheon; camel, cognac, casha, grey, white and a flourish of red. Fabrics that bear the MaxMara trademark; luxury that is discrete yet turns heads (look out for the mouthwatering new sable finish alpaca drap, and the seasons newest focus; shearling coats) The new full skirted silhouette; tightly belted pleats flaring from the waist, worn with scandi style.
Chunky heeled boots lends a womanly swagger worthy of la Ekberg. Knits are firmly rooted in the Max Mara tradition; rich cables, ribs and stitches that reduce folkloristic motifs to a minimal modernity. The cappotto is king, and the newest of all mixes these graphic knitted jacquards with a tweedy fabric for an innovative, stylish and wholly desirable hybrid cardigan coat.
Max Mara Fall Winter 2017 is a manifesto for women who appreciate the brilliant simplicity of a golden rule; there is nothing so cool as the classics.
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