Max Mara’s oceanic chic
The voluminous moment in fashion grew more pronounced Thursday morning in Milan at Max Mara, with a romantic display of nautically inclined haute gamme fashion from the famed brand.
Once again, designer Ian Griffiths referenced the '80s with plenty of power-shouldered looks, and a soundtrack from that decade’s dance hits – like Captain Sensible’s Wot.
Yet this was fundamentally a tender vision of fashion, referencing the sea and maritime shapes. From the marvelous officer’s greatcoats – made in a mannish dry chalk stripe – to generously draped cashmere duffels or foul weather jackets with tassels. Though his favorite idea was the classy robe-de-chambre, tied at the waist with elegant robe belts.
Griffiths updated each look with skill – like the final commodore’s blazer worn by Kaia Gerber, but cut oversized with dropped shoulders and ballooning sleeves. While the classic painter’s smock was reinvented as a short caban in dry felt wool.
Ideal clothes for Max Mara’s beautiful new Face of the Future in the house’s Women in Film project who sat front row, Gemma Chan, best known as face of the kindly sister in law in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.
“I began by thinking of the color blue, and then of the sea. And after that any artist that referenced the sea from Shakespeare to Tracy Emin to Jean Genet in Querelle,” Griffiths explained to FashionNetwork.com.
Blues, though, of the most somber sort. And, in a reminder that Max Mara is off to St Petersburg this spring to present its next cruise collection, the cast came with smoky eyeliner – like the Occi Ciorni, or Dark Eyes, of the famous Russian folk song.
Griffiths’ other smart idea was matching a series coats with totes, from black indented leather to faux sheepskin blue and beige stripes. Attached to each bag on the outside matching clutch, purse and water-bottle covers. Max Mara has rarely had a hit bag, even if its Whitney purse has its followers. But that should change with these looks.
In a word, Max Mara - the bellwether fashion brand in Italy – looks completely in synch with the current zeitgeist for couture sensibility, classy finish and generous volumes.
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