In anticipation of the new, Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of Art in New York’s Meatpacking District — the opening party of which will be sponsored by Max Mara — the company ramped up its pre-fall game, staging a proper fashion show in Chelsea replete with arty references.
Theoretically, the collection was a highfalutin mix of Robert Smithson musings, Piano’s architectural influences, past Whitney exhibitions and the history of its new neighborhood. Press notes invoked The Roxy and its Seventies heyday. There was also a new Whitney bag in black and brown with a pintuck pleat treatment, designed to mimic the museum’s steel-beamed exterior.
In practice, the collection was a pure play for fantastic outerwear: a gray Ultrasuede padded coat with fox-fur lining, plush shearlings and belted vests all cut in elegant lines and layered with cozy ribbed knits. A recurring bobcat motif felt like a blatant bid for creative edge, but otherwise, the mostly dark lineup in black and brown hues and a finale of crisp crimson will fit in just fine in the neighborhood.