Scotland isn't a bad place to start when you're working on a Fall collection. The tweeds, those plaids, Prince of Wales checks. If anything, it's a bit obvious, so it's a credit to the design team that the Max Mara
collection didn't feel that way this season. On the contrary, there was an inventive liveliness to the lineup, and it began with the outerwear. Hybrids were the show's big message: A peacoat coming was a puffer going. A cozy knit cardigan had quilted down below the knees. And a traditional man's coat was cut from four different kinds of wool—tweed and herringbone followed by two plaids shoulder to hem. It all could've been too clever for its own good from a classic brand like this, but the discreetly luxurious materials worked in its favor. We're less sure about the gold crocodile print and black PVC. Still, they did put the menswear fabrics that were the real story in sharp relief. Team Max Mara also believes in a vibrant shade of lichen green this season. That's not an easy color, although they made a striking case for it with an outfit that combined a trompe l'oeil blazer (the waistcoat was built in) with an elongated pullover and below-the-knee tube skirt. Coats are necessarily the focus at this show, but next Fall Max Mara will be a go-to resource for a great-looking oversize sweater and pencil skirt, too.