The camel-hair coat is an icon for MaxMara; the foundation upon which one of Italy's most successful family fashion empire was built. The exercise each fall is to find new context in which to frame that timeless piece. This season's version is a creamy, floorsweeping topper flying loose over tight, high-waisted velvet pants and a turtleneck.

MaxMara acts as a percolator for current trends, making them accessible to a city woman who spends her money on wearable investments but likes to nod to fashion. For fall, she'll find that in an Alaïa-influenced flounced skirt with a matching bomber jacket, a 70s pants suit with a neat blazer, an ethnic fur-lined gilet, or the quintessential retro brown stacked-heel knee boot. Last fall's Art Nouveau mood reappears as Klimt-influenced prints, and peacock feathers made into capelets, jackets or as decoration on dresses and blouses. That's just enough to show a general awareness of the direction of fashion but not overpower the house's classic values, which are rooted as much in the pleasure of cashmere, velvet and suede as in the practicalities of a busy woman's everyday life.