With the Milan Fashion Week 2023 in full swing, Wednesday, 22 February witnessed Piazza del Liberty overswept by a glamour storm as the newest Max Mara collections were decked out by three ultra-famous names in fashion – Anna dello Russo, Kate Phelan and Mary Katrantzou, each collaborating with different labels under the Max Mara group – Max&Co., Weekend Max Mara and Marina Rinaldi, respectively.
The Max&Co range embodied the very upbeat spirit of their creator, Anna dello Russo as her bright hues and eye-drawing apparel formed her capsule. Weekend Max Mara’s collaboration with Kate Phelan resulted in an Anglo-chic collection that made heads turn. A charming ensemble of Marina Rinaldi, in association with Mary Katrantzou was also among the amazing trio. All the three labels form a part of the Max Mara group, owned by the famed Maramotti family.
ADR’s ‘De-Coated’ Collaboration with Max & Co.
Long-standing creative director of Vogue Japan and famously tagged the Italian It Gal, Anna dello Russo’s collaboration with Max Mara’s Max&Co was a stupendous performance to say the least. The Instagram phenomenon could be said to have immaculately decoded the DNA of the brand while infusing into it, her signature style.
Under the label that read ‘Max&Co De-Coated &Co.llaboration with ADR’, her range was basically a rampage of bright pastel colours in cool basic apparel like bras tops, hot pants and little Spencers. She took pleasure in deconstructing and distilling long coats and blazers and hence “De-coating” them. Silhouettes in different proportions, jackets of recycled polyester, PVC flight jackets brought back from the last century, techno wool peacoats and cropped wool sweaters – were all part of her snazzy collection.
Stretch cocktails with built corsets, medium volume coats and more added to the chic Max&Co. range underlined the signature youth-centered approach adopted by the great Italian brand. The collection was displayed in the upper level of the Max&Co flagship boutique in Piazza del Liberty just around the corner from the Duomo.
A Bolognese-British Tint to Weekend Max Mara
Kate Phelan, one of the most prominent London-based stylists in the last quarter-century, demonstrated a catchy combination of strong style, throwback twists on denim, and rural cool for Weekend Max Mara. The collection’s spring was a December 1982 Vogue photo by Bruce Weber, styled by Grace Coddington, and featuring Talisa Soto.
British fabrics in a trout fly Harris Tweed blazer with the label on the innards and girls sporting men’s overcoats crafted in a steely grey Donegal tweed herringbone among mannish crisp white cotton shirts, urban mod parkas and double-face wool robe coats, scintillatingly brought out Phelan’s Weekend Max Mara energy.
Devon-born Phelan describes how as a college student, she had resorted to buying men’s clothes second-hand , cutting them up and teaming them with ruddy denims instead of shopping from Comme des Garcons or Yohji, primarily due to the price. She calls it the fashion she wore before she herself started working in fashion.
The Italian-British blend experienced in the Weekend Max Mara range, named ‘24’ signified the wearability of the clothes from dawn to dusk, while ensuring easy mobility and accessibility – with an intent to form a bond with the young women, and in the long run to become a heritage with quality on par.
Katrantzou’s Florentine Takeover
Floor-to-ceiling curls, swirls, and waves of deep purple, turquoise, and rusty crimson almost swamped the eye with Mary Katrantzou’s debut capsule for Marina Rinaldi, another label in the fold of the Max Mara group. The Florentine touch in the settings as well as the ensemble was made profoundly evident in the hues of the collections and its mesmerizing designs. Before her, Marina Rinaldi had had collaborations with Roksanda and Marco de Vincenzo.
“I think this is a great opportunity to understand that client. It was a great learning curve. It’s a woman who dresses from day to night, adventurous but not too adventurous,” said Mary.
The designer had, pre-pandemic, launched a collection named Mary Mare which could not reach wholesale clients on a large scale owing to the pandemic. Her hues and designs for the Max Mara range could be seen as similar to her pre-lockdown collection, but none of the looks have been officially out which averted any repetition.
For Marina Rinaldi, she has crafted a mix of colour-blocking outerwear and knitwear dresses and also print plisse dresses. The numbers are just 15 in terms of the pieces but the charm they held is absolutely phenomenal while yielding quadruple sales compared to Rinaldi’s earlier collaborations.