Max Mara Pre-Fall 2022 – WWD

“What’s not to love about a smart, intelligent woman?” »Said Ian Griffiths, Creative Director of Max Mara, at the brand’s showroom in Milan. In front of him, the label’s seasonal moodboard, where the images of Fran Lebowitz rub shoulders with those of Patti Smith.

Two strong women, radical in their ideas and cohesive in their androgynous style, inspired Griffiths by drawing a parallel between the notion of classics in literature and in fashion. “Classic books are filled with forward thinking ideas and are groundbreaking, but fashion classics are always seen as conservative.”

The designer wanted to reverse this preconceived idea by shedding new light on the basics of the wardrobe. He played with textures and the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine elements, delivering a pragmatic, accessible collection articulated around commercially intelligent separations.

True to both the aesthetics of his muses and the legacy of Max Mara, tailoring played a big part in the range, with navy pinstripe fabrics used to make men’s vests and pants as well as hybrid solutions, such as double-breasted jackets with contrasting sleeves and denim back. An oversized, sleeveless version of the brand’s 101801 mesh coat stands out for its contemporary feel, while a blazer has been reworked in jersey for a lighter, more comfortable result, which also nods to a younger audience.

To compensate for the sartorial pieces, Griffiths introduced boy-cut washed jeans and denim shorts to wear with cowboy boots, as well as dresses, blouses and boxers in flowy satin for a more feminine touch.

But the brand’s craftsmanship was best demonstrated in what the designer defined as a sidebar for the collection. To pay homage to Smith and his equestrian desire to cross the South American Pampas, Griffiths included gaucho-chic pieces, encompassing stylized pinstripe gaucho pants with crisp shirts, luxe cashmere coats and jackets in knitted sleeves as well as a magnificent calf leather rendering of the iconic 101801 style. Classic yes, but never ordinary.

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