Max Mara fetes its 70th anniversary with élan
Max Mara feted the 70th anniversary of the Italian fashion house with energy and élan on Thursday, in a show video shot inside the Triennale, Milan’s famed art exhibition space.
Models cruising around in the classy clothes of Max Mara within the Triennale’s light-filled galleries, underlining the brand’s roots in architectural fashion; backed up by a classical remix from veteran ace DJ Johnny Dynell.
For Fall/ Winter 2021, the house’s British-born creative director Ian Griffiths concentrated on the heart of the matter, which at Max Mara will always the coats: opening with a shearling flight jacket – over an alpaca coat - into whose back was carved 1951, in a wide Latin typeface.
That’s the date that founder Achille Maramotti launched the brand in the north central Italian city of Reggio Emilia with his target audience of being “the wives of local notaries and doctors.”
Smartly, Griffiths took a sense of the wild moors and rugged rural life into the urban jungle – with shaggy mohair mannish hyper collar peacoats that enveloped the model, and sultry cashmere mini cocktail sweaters, again bearing the year 1951.
Foreigners always think of Italy as a hot and sunny country, but the Emilia Romagna region where Max Mara is located can have very chilly winters. And these opulent clothes had a tremendously comforting air; reassuring on a chilly day in the Po Valley or even an ice storm in Texas. Almost predicting bad weather ahead, many of the cast wore feminine hiking boots with thick socks. While heads were covered with scarves; oversized hoodies and newsboy's caps.
Though Griffiths took the brand somewhere new with four flap-pocketed cabans in caramel cashmere, worn over yellow ochre matelassé jerkins and velvet skirts with splits; and in suede padded cloaks with equestrian detailing; or – picking up a major trend – some great oversized Aran sweaters in moody browns and grays.
The whole show taking place beneath the brand’s name spelled out in graphic individual letters and exclamation marks, hanging from the ceiling like flags greeting returning heroines to their hometown.
Urbi et orbi, from the city to the world, goes the papal blessing, but also chez Max Mara, where the wise idea of founder Maramotti of dressing provincial sophisticates created an Italian fashion empire that still dresses the world. So successfully that when Achille passed away in 2005, he was one of the richest men in Europe. He would surely have enjoyed this show.
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