One of Italy’s oldest ready-to-wear companies, MaxMara made its name in the fifties, mainly as a purveyor of quality coats, and is still motoring on that business today, selling stylish outerwear and tailoring to women all over the world. The challenge faced by the label each season is how to spin a trend around its solid brand franchise, and build it into something that makes a sustained statement as a runway collection.
The core idea for spring was easy enough to spot: soft, washed materials like canvas and leather, made into slouchy-pocketed jackets, trenches, and short, puffy bombers; plus a handful of masculine vests, some floaty, Stevie Nickstype dresses (a few done in Zandra Rhodeslike prints), and a palette of muted, sanded-down, tea-stained colors. The collection included some of the fine-gauge cropped knits that are emerging as a seasonal essential, and touched on the current feeling for stripes and for lightened-up masculine dressing, featured in a pale blue-and-white seersucker three-piece suit with cropped pants. It was less successful in catching on to another key virtue of modern fashion: the art of the edit. Brevity is the soul of any strong statement, and this one was weakened by too much repetition.