MaxMara salutes strong women who leave their mark on the world.
Lina Bo Bardi encapsulates the mood for Summer 2017. Italian born, she lived most of her life in Brazil. A celebrated architect and furniture designer, she anticipated the current trend for design that incorporates nature. She was radical too, not only a feminist, but a leading light in the formulation of a post-colonial
South American cultural identity through avantgarde theatre and experimental music. The movement loosely known as Tropicalia produced groundbreaking work, not least the album of the same name produced by a group of musicians including her friends, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. The circle in which she bounced ideas included Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Fidel Castro.
A photograph from 1951 shows her luxuriating in her iconic bowl chair, wearing a strict pencil skirt and high-heeled pumps. Sensual curves are characteristic of her work and MaxMara Summer 2017 channels her brand of voluptuous minimalism.
The bush shirts that Bo Bardi favoured inspire a cool shade of khaki that looks modern with graphic black and white. Greige and tan feature too, like the leather used in those Bo Bardi chairs with their exquisitely restrained detail; saddle stitching and leather laces which make an appearance at the back of a curvy gabardine slip dress and at the cuff of a jacket.
It’s often posited that design is about pulling order out of chaos. Unusually for a modernist, Bo Bardi was not at was not scared of letting that chaos play its part. Casa Del Vedro, The home that she designed for herself is a modernist masterpiece that frames and embraces the rampageous rainforest. The lush flora and the fauna that she loved inspire exotic prints, which are cut into rigorous patchworks or feature bindings that echo the structures of her architecture. Torn layers of posters and mid-century graphics figure too in a mix that celebrates the glorious tumult of Latin American design, culture and politics into which Bo Bardi threw herself in.