Max Mara Recalls Women Power in RTW Spring 2019
Ian Griffiths, head designer at Max Mara, took a bold step to re-interpret classic Greek legends according to women’s perspectives, and combine it with the modern day themes of conservatism and female empowerment. He was inspired by Emily Wilson’s provocative yet familiar retelling of "The Odyssey", and Margaret Atwood’s vivid expressions of a prejudiced and sexist society in "The Penelopiad".
The spring collection on display this Thursday morning typifies the strong spirit of modern women, with additional attention paid to the silhouette and overall form rather than typical focal points like colour. Unlike regular tailored suits, proportions here are adjusted to emphasise the feminine form it adorns. Skirts and jackets that make up most of the matching twinsets are accentuating at the waistline, and featured cuts that end below the knee. Further into the collection, the iconic power dressing of the 80’s makes a revival by evolving into a protective expression for the feminine form; layered over the peplum vests and classic one-shoulder asymmetric tops, the models wear structured boxy coats and padded blazers reminiscent of a military armour ensemble. One of my favourite coordinates is the light brown long trench coat paired over on taupe pants, worn by model Liu Wen during the show. This matching pantsuit exudes its own aura of confidence that should be quintessential to the everyday woman.
The collection as a whole is underpinned by a monochromatic colour theme, where textures also receive a deserved elevation in treatment; flurries of ruffles on peplum tops and hemming of skirts seem to be a common sight throughout the show. The models wear same-colour embroidered or polka-dot head scarves and sunglasses with cords attached in order to maintain attention to the overall form. This conservative concept extends to the various fabrications on the iconic coat in making it more versatile for everyday use — instead of wool, this utilitarian jacket is made rainproof with overcoating for the proverbial (as well as literal) rainy day.
The Max Mara show concludes with Gigi Hadid taking centrestage in a long navy trench coat, embellished with ruffles at the hem of the coat. It's true; no collection can be more empowering than the spirit of women.