When Achille Maramotti established the Max Mara company in 1951, women’s roles in society were starting to shift. While other fashion houses were dressing the high society ladies for their luncheons and galas, Maramotti had keenly looked to the wives of the local doctors and notaries, who were on their way to forging their own careers. And Max Mara’s chic and practical wardrobe was there to dress them all the way.
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For its Fall Winter 2021 collection, models walking through a circular room at the Milan Triennale reminds us of a parade on London’s Regent Street, complete with festival flags that were printed with advertising graphics that Max Mara had commissioned in its very first decade of existence. To commemorate the brand’s 70th anniversary, Creative Director Ian Griffiths was inspired by the British festival. This was the Max Mara celebration; a coronation or sorts, if you will.
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Speaking of coronation, the night before the show, Carine Roitfeld, who styled the show, had posted some teasers of the collection on her Instagram Stories, prompting fans to guess the inspiration behind the collection. Suggestions such as ‘The Queen’, ‘Princess Margaret’, and ‘Stella Tennant’, were met with a resounding ‘yes!’. Indeed that flavour of Britishness augmenting the Italian ideal of ‘La Bella Figura’ (simply put, always looking one’s best) has always been part of the house codes, and this is evident in this Fall Winter 2021 collection. Think layering up in camel hair with heels for a drive into town, then swapping in a pair of boots to go riding in the country. Models wrapped up in cozy layers and head scarves channel the Queen on a hunting trip to Balmoral Castle, with her beloved corgis at by her side. Utilitarianism is also a recurring theme, as are the brand’s signatures camel hair and prolific teddy coat. Several pieces come with multi pockets, are waterproof and quilted. Rugged countryside tropes of capes, tartans and aran knits are interspersed throughout the collection too.
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The woman imagined by Maramotti is all-capable, whether she’s sitting on a board of directors or piloting a plane. At Max Mara today, we have the new, youthful queens, who wear their classic coats with hoodies, as well as impeccable suits with boxy bombers (a new shape for the brand this season).