With her angular features and boyish haircut, Dutch model Saskia de Brauw is the perfect poster girl for fashion’s darker, more masculine mood. She opened the Max Mara show in an officer green bomber jacket and cropped pants, announcing the collection’s military leanings. The design team at the Italian sportswear powerhouse was inspired by the cult Fritz Lang film “Metropolis” from 1927, which was evident in the drop-waist, cocoon shapes from that era, and its focus on dignified — and luxed-up — proletariat style.
They crossbred wartime looks with another dark-hearted movie, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Querelle,” to interesting effect. Sailor stripes winked out from a military greatcoat banded in what looked to be plush shearling, and peacoats had couturelike caped backs. Outerwear was strong overall, the house’s signature camel coats now spliced with a band of leather around the hips, or sprouting a sporty hood.
Although the styling for the show was a bit déjà vu, recalling a collection by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton a year ago that evoked “The Night Porter,” the references to sinister cinema added drama to Max Mara’s clean-lined sportswear, as in a beefy cardigan with military pockets. The show climaxed with soft suits and sweaters in exploded Prince of Wales checks and a languid gown in striped satin.