Beyond the Tide Moving beyond classic camel, creative director Ian Griffiths takes the Max Mara collection out to sea
Max Mara is having a moment as we say in fashion. Routinely these days the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Priyanka Chopra are turning up bedecked in, generally, some great classic outerwear from the Italian house. Afterall they own the camel overcoat. What’s curious about this whether, through great VIP marketing or millennials and Gen Z’ers in search of an antidote to Insta-worthy outfits, the brand has recently saved itself from identifying as a mainstay of the older bourgeoisie client. Their Fall 2020 proved they are definitely heading in the right direction.
The Max Mara woman has not only coveted a great coat but in fact an ensemble of great workwear. But this season, Max Mara Creative Director Ian Griffiths imagines her sitting at her desk escaping by dreaming of the ocean as according to show notes “the ocean is a potent metaphor for the human condition.” Sure but it’s also a great place to explore a sailor and swashbuckler theme in the spirit of muses as varied William Shakespeare, Stevie Nicks, T.S. Eliot, and Tracy Emin who have apparently felt the ocean calling too.
Kaia Gerber opened the show in a navy wool sailor shirt-cum-poncho. Shakespearean swashbucklers appeared as tiered ruffled sleeves on wool overcoats and blazers, nylon bombers and as asymmetrical skirts in taffeta. A rich “robe de chambres” and paper-bag pants featured thick rope belts. Maritime stripes of double-faced wool ponchos or a furry camel and black overcoat with matching oversized “Marine” tote added to the theme. Giving a modern edge, puffed sleeves draped off oversized shoulders. Nylons and wools were mixed for a modern take on outerwear or one forgoing the wool altogether in a nylon “doudoune” comforter jacket. A forming trend, gauchos were worn with shorter jackets.
Once on shore, even a sailor girl needs something to wear at night. Velvet in sheath dresses or a smart pant and sheer blouse worn by the sultry Bella Hadid in, of course, navy blue gave the collection a ship-shape ending.