Twentieth-century style icons like the model-turned-war photographer Lee Miller, the French actress Dominique Sanda, and the architect Eileen Gray sparked ideas about utilitarian dressing for Max Mara
creative director Ian Griffiths this season. Where the labelís Spring show was provocative (see its many shades of double-face cashmere slipdress), this outing was no-nonsense in spirit. It came across in a cargo-pocket shirtdress; in the elongated, slightly boxy cut of a jacket and the full, cropped trousers of a pantsuit; and in the no-fuss ensemble of knit hoodie and A-line skirt. Of course, luxury is always part of the equation at this Italian house. As the collection went on, dark tones gave way to subtle pastels, and the fabrics became richer. A pair of shearling coats promised all of the warmth of a big fur but none of the flash. Elegance is refusal, as they say. Speaking of elegant, the dusty rose double-face cashmere cocoon coat shown over separates in deeper shades of pink was particularly lovely.