“I always start with an emotion,” Maxwell said backstage before his show. “This was really about going to work, and my customer.” Stating the obvious? Shouldn’t every collection start there? Maxwell explained that he finally feels confident enough to trust his own instincts through the work process, and that, after a year-and-a-half of retail sales, he’s gotten to know his customer for real rather than his imaginary perception of her. “I understand that she has more places to go than black-tie events,” he said. “I love an evening moment. But we want to evolve, and I want to grow. Now that I know the customer, I know what she’s wanting. My customers do many different things during the day.”
That realization has taken Maxwell to a more relaxed take on what remains his unapologetic embrace of traditional glamour. His customer is a high-polish kind of gal; she’s never undone, and he refuses to fake false edge for the runway. To that end, last season’s jeans proved a hit so they’re back for fall, but worn with perfectly constructed tops such as a cutaway jacket with defined shoulders. He also showed a broadened range of curvy knits, while sexy bodycon dresses bridged the span from day to night.
As noted, Maxwell loves an “evening moment,” but not all nights out call for umpteen layers of jeweled tulle. (Some do; he’s got that covered.) He thus delved into after-dark sportif with chic separates: red shearling jacket over a white shirt and red crystal-embroidered skirt; fluid black pants and racer-back tank with twin jeweled broaches, which Karlie Kloss wore with signature panache.
For his finale, Maxwell’s models assembled on the Appel Room stage, smiling and applauding as he took his bow with all the women who work with him, “a Valentine” of thanks to them, he said. Here, here.