Max Mara is a house that knows the power of history, taking care to respect and preserve it even as the world around it races, often in vain, in search of the new. While working on his spring collection, creative director Ian Griffiths was engrossed in the spate of recent updates on classic Green myths by female authors including Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate “The Odyssey”; Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad,” and Madeline Miller’s “Circe.” “A woman’s perspective overturns years of macho-centric thinking,” Griffiths said during a preview. “The reason I find all these stories so fascinating is because ancient stories have relevance today and they cast a light on our own human experiences.”
Griffiths applied that idea to the collection two-ply, by imaging the woman wearing it as a modern-day Amazonian, and by digging into Max Mara’s Eighties archive by Anne-Marie Beretta, tweaking her biggest contributions to the house to comply with today’s world. He didn’t have to mess with it too much — this particular archive stands up in a way in which few other houses can compare. Griffith chose Beretta’s strong-shouldered coats and jackets, traced some in ruffles and layered them over asymmetrically draped tops and pareo skirts. It was monochrome-mania in the Max Mara palette of tobacco neutrals, white, polka dots and navy with a shot of yellow, because, why not?
Even in the warm weather season, the layered-up sportswear was there as a support system for the outerwear. Asked how he approaches Max Mara’s bread-and-butter coats for spring, Griffiths said he was thinking about the planet, a relevant concept if there ever was one. “It isn’t always with us, it’s kind of against us,” he said. “We have to be prepared for any conditions.” Many of the jackets were rainproof, whether by nature of the impeccable weave of the navy trench with a ruffled hem that closed the show or due to coatings, such as the yellow overcoat made from ultra-light rubberized jersey.