Max Mara's stock-in-trade is outerwear, and the design team didn't let you forget it this season. The coats and jackets were positively gigantic, and layered one on top of the other as enthusiastically as they were, they caused some of the models to look nearly as wide as they were tall. We're all for brands putting what they do best on the runway—and for a quality camel coat, you can't beat Max Mara—but the styling here was too molto at times for its own good. Take the example of a camel-hair overcoat shown over a hooded duffle in spun alpaca that looked like closely cropped shearling. Surely just one of those would protect a woman from even the most inclement weather. In any case, there was enough fashion in each of them to stand on their own.
Once you saw past all the layers—if you could manage it—there were great pieces here. Working with the Bauhaus period as a reference point, the studio came up with bold rugby-stripe parkas and peacoats (navy and buff), as well as a stretchy knit dress and pencil skirt (ocher and brown). More often that not, though, the looks were monochrome, down to the suede running shoes and croc-stamped handbags. Slip into a midnight-blue slouchy cable-knit sweater and matching velvet track pants, and you'd be hard-pressed to slip them off. Other times, the loose-fitting elastic-waist pants in cashmere knit or techno satin felt too much like pajamas. As outerwear makers, tailoring is also in Max Mara's wheelhouse. A few well-cut trousers could've added the element of sharpness that this collection needed.