The inspiration behind the Max Mara Spring/Summer 2021 collection was the Renaissance, a rebirth of the modern woman, as well as the costumes of the artist Corin Sworn (winner of the 2013-2015 Maz Mara Art Prize for Women) and her installation “Silent Sticks”. Griffiths said, “We started designing this collection at the beginning of lockdown. And it was a shot in the dark, because we had no idea at all if it would ever be produced or shown. Because I’d already started going through my library, and realized that I have almost a ridiculous amount of books about the Renaissance, my love for these painters was a starting point.”
Max Mara show was held in the courtyard of the Pinacoteca di Brera, an ancient Milan gallery and art school, and Mina’s voice accompanied the atmosphere. The collection presents many re-interpretations of the trench, from maxi pockets to long sleeves that touch the ankles. Max Mara takes the graphics and the aesthetic of Sworn and revisits them in a new way. The Renaissance’s cloak and the modern parka meets with functional pockets and automatic bottoms. Contrast stitchings and patches remind of the decorations of the Duke’s Room of Mantova. The colour palette features ocher, Siena’s dirt, black, white and pastel colours typical of the Renaissance’s pantings. While the silhouette is short and elegant or long and wide, the sleeves are flared or worn as a cape, the necklines are curled or straight.
Max Mara was founded during a period of re-birth for the country, as Griffiths riffed: “That fashion explosion was in part thanks to the spreading of an idea of clothing based on la bella figura. As opposed to, say, French fashion, Italian fashion privileges things that make you look and feel your absolute best at all times”. And how can you recreate that same concept in 2021? With a soft cashmere coat, a perfectly constructed tailleur, a trench coat, a button-up-shirt paired with a pair of pleated trousers, a large “Ippolita bag and a pair of oversize sunglasses.