Everyone will be talking about the newest exhibition, the latest movie, the edgiest show, but it’s a good time to revisit our favourites too.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is a Max Mara favourite; and one of the most beloved pieces in its collection Is the Alexander Calder’s “Cirque Cader”. Recently restored and redisplayed is the elaborate troupe of ingeniously articulated performers and hundreds of props including nets, flags, carpets, lamps and musical instruments all beneath the towering masts of the big top with its jaunty pennants.
Made from humble wire, wood, metal, cloth, cork and string, each piece generates character and charm.
Calder’s performances were the talk of Paris and his audiences included Piet Mondrian, Joan Mird, and Marcel Duchamp. “Cirque Cader” speaks of the frisson of the live performance, the first night, the energy of the applause, the reason why the rentrée is so thrilling.
Max Mara’s materials for this collection are richer than Calder’s but every look is a personaggio, echoing the individual panache of the ringmaster, the strong woman, Pierrot, acrobat, conjuror.
In red, white, camel and black there are leopardine prints, audacious stripes, distinctive spots and the odd star The look is leggy, bold and showy, tiny twill shorts with a pannier construction, a mini pared to wear with a mannish blazer tucked in. A poplin shirt dress with pie crust frill to voluminise the sleeve, a one shouldered asymmetric combinaison and a strictly tailored coat dress with a flirty skirt, a trapeze shaped organza trenchcoat, and a bib-fronted micro-combinaison all beg to be worn with this season’s strappy silver Mary Janes
And why wait till the leaves turn brown before you can wear these looks? There are plenty of pieces to
want now and wear now, including smart summer dresses for the city and collectible T-shirts with
flamboyantly drawn figures from the big top.