September 25, 2009 Milan
Something about the treatment—drapey satin coats over matching shirts and pants, suede trousers, pencil skirts—recalled the heyday of early-eighties working-woman style, a look that emanated from Italy and had a corresponding period of popularity in American sportswear. The retro feel wasn't all that overt, but it was detectable in the rounded dolman-raglan sleeve—the curved version of the outsize shoulder that, back in the day, came fully furnished with a giant set of pads.
MaxMara is smart to have avoided that particular literalism. Any over-egging of theme or reference is unwise in this collection. For the most part, the design team kept to the straight and narrow with the pragmatic utilitarian daywear that is this company's strong suit—though they did give in to the temptation to do a luxury camouflage patchwork coat and a strapless military evening gown. Doubtful that those will ever really get worn, but the rest? Absolutely.