Rebirth, renewal, reconstruction; like the indomitable heroines of the Renaissance, in every field, Max Mara wo- men are rebuilding the world – better than it was before. This season, Max Mara addresses the question, what to wear for a job like that?
Corin Sworn was the winner of the 2013-2015 Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Her multimedia installation ‘Silent Sticks’ was inspired by Italian Renaissance theatre, the seminal commedia dell’arte, with its recurrent themes of identity, gender ambivalence and intrigue, tragedy, comedy, desire and magic. Max Mara channels the graphic, elemental aesthetic of Sworn’s costumes for a thoroughly modern take on the “paggetto”. The tabard meets the streetsmart parka with its utilitarian pockets, snap fasteners and drawstrings. Contrast bindings and placed patchwork feature intricately figured damasks that echo the gilded strapwork of a Mantuan ducal chamber. The painterly palette blends ochre, umbra, sienna, lamp black, white with smudges of subtle color, like the powdery pastels of an Umbrian affresco .
The new Renaissance engenders new silhouettes; short and snappy, long and voluminous. Sleeves are slashed right through, to hang like capes, or they blouse from the elbow. Richly gathered necklines are scooped or strai- ght across from shoulder to shoulder, like a cinquecentesco portrait. Max Mara was founded in another time of rebirth. In the postwar fashion boom, Italy reinvented the classics with artisanal mastery and an eye to good design; Max Mara took a leading role.
Max Mara was always about ‘bella figura’, the credo of being your best by presenting your best self. Never has that credo been more sound than now. So how do you dress to rebuild the world? In a butter-soft cashmere spolverino, a masterfully tailored suit, a perfectly detailed trenchcoat, a pristine poplin shirt with impeccably pleated pants; with a capacious Ippolita bag and oversize sunglasses; Max Mara’s modern alchemy, is as purposeful as it is luxurious, lightens the load.