EASY AND BREEZY
SPIRITED SPORTSWEAR STARRED AT BOTH MAX MARA AND SPORTMAX, WHILE SHORT-SHORTS AND BABYDOLL LOOKS TURNED UP AT ANNA MOLINARI.

Max Mara and Sportmax: Easy, simple, inoffensive — just the perfect clothes for these unsettling times. Max Mara and Sportmax showed a pretty smattering of these for spring, and both collections spotlighted white. Max Mara interpreted its classic whites in gabardine trenchcoats and cotton bustiers with slim pants, all tied Grecian-style, around the midriff. Poet’s blouses — loose and flouncy — were also favored, some paired with tiny shorts or tight jeans. And macrame, that dreaded Seventies staple that showed up on more planters than clothes, also found its way here. Surprisingly, it provided a fanciful touch to otherwise generic clothes: on the back of a racer tank; as a belt, dangling from the waist of suede shorts or on the front of this season’s must-have shoe, the wedge.
Sportmax also expanded on the macrame theme and shredded camisoles and dresses down to strings that dangled and flapped when the girls walked. Super-sexy. It was the same with the peasant blouses — cotton voile trimmed in antique lace — worn with hard-edged leather pants or skirts, punched with a dotted motif. The mix and layering were key here, as they piled floral chiffon dresses over white cotton eyelet skirts or patchwork and lace-trimmed blouses with distressed suede shorts, often topped with a rugged, leather belt that hung on the hips. Did some of it look familiar? Yeah, most notably, an influence of the past YSL season, but who cares? It still looked great.

Anna Molinari: Without any help from her usual band of pioneer punks, pinup girls and Madonna wannabes, Rossella Tarabini sent out a breezy, virtually camp-free spring collection for Anna Molinari.
It was focused and then some. Forgoing the retro route, Tarabini matched up enough babydoll tops and short-shorts to outfit a whole nursery full of dollies. Out they came in chiffon or satin, some tops with sparkling straps while others were belted, pleated or layered. The fanciest were lacy, beaded or feathered. And the shorts? They were short all right, and cut in everything from pinstripes to satin.While Molinari’s dedication to the combo may have verged on obsession, there’s nothing wrong with flaunting a new attitude.

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