Max Mara revisits the Renaissance
It was in the arcade of Brera Academy's courtyard that Max Mara decide to unveil its collection for Spring/Summer 2021 in Milan on Thursday. Here the brand presented an elegantly minimalist collection offering a series of new propositions in terms of cut and volume. There wasn't a fussy decoration or a showy colour in sight, as although creative director Ian Griffiths took his inspiration from the Italian Renaissance this season, it was only certain details and forms from the period that he channelled.
Notably, he concentrated on the sleeves, which alternated between flared kimono or pagoda affairs and puffed sleeves that almost seemed to bubble thanks to playful use of pleating. Coats, trenches, shirts, tops, jackets and even jumpers were given long flaring sleeves which were slit up the inner arm to lend the pieces a cape-like look that facilitated movement.
The classic parka, with its hood, snap fasteners, drawstrings and multiple functional pockets, was also revisited, appearing throughout the collection reimagined as a long jacket, a short coat or a little parachute dress. It could even be seen repurposed as a flight suit with bare shoulders and elasticated ankles.
The waterproof fabric and drawstrings allowed the designer to play with different volumes, adding pleats at the wrists, the waist or even the décolletage of certain collars. Elements of the parka were also brought into some cotton dresses with pleated collars, as well as both mini and maxi skirts with side slits and maxi pockets.
Aside from a few damask or jacquard inserts that appeared on the backs of some knit pieces, all of the silhouettes on display were rigorously monochrome, channelling a natural palette of beige, sienna, ochre and putty, with flashes of petrol blue and sage green.
Next summer's Max Mara woman is naturally elegant, opting for a comfortable wardrobe characterised by ample volumes. Her jackets and suits are long, her trousers oversized, while her skirts fall straight to the knee. She wears no accessories, except perhaps a handbag or a mini-pouch, hanging from a rope worn around her neck.
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