Naming this resort collection “Reason and Romance,” creative director Ian Griffiths synthesized the spirit of the season at Max Mara. The collection was originally set to be unveiled with a runway show scheduled in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on May 25, but, as with other brands’ cruise events, the show was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The lineup, which Griffiths developed via digital tools with his team and which he unveiled during a private walk-through at the Max Mara showroom in Milan, kept intact its very precise original spirit.

“Of course, it was such a pity to have to cancel the show,” said Griffiths, whose last visit to Saint Petersburg was the weekend before the lockdown in Italy. “However, this collection is a sign of perseverance. It’s a bit smaller than originally planned, but this might also be an advantage since it’s very concentrated and focused.”

Inspired by the opulence and majesty of Saint Petersburg’s Yusupov Palace and its life during the Belle Epoque, the designer looked at the rich costumes worn at masquerades by Princess Irina and combined their poetry and romance with modernist references taken from Kazimir Malevich’s works of art.

The result was a versatile collection that offered a new, more feminine take on Max Mara’s signature unfussy elegance. Asymmetric dresses crafted from fine materials were paired with the brand’s iconic coats, including the best-selling Teddy Bear style, while a silk top printed with a delicate floral motif was tucked into smart tailored pants with side buttons. Fluid tunics showed geometric elements with an arty modernist appeal and beautiful knits, including a light blue cable knit style, were matched with roomy pants.

For evening, Max Mara stayed true to its minimal sophistication, with classic tuxedos and jumpsuits enriched with trimmings for a touch of discreet luxury.

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