The fashion-y feminist BBC spy series “Killing Eve,” and imagining how its writer Phoebe Waller Bridge will sweeten the script for the next James Bond film due out next year, were the starting points for Max Mara designer Ian Griffiths this season.
“She’s promised to give women a more prominent role. So I thought, ‘Why not do a wardrobe for a film that hasn’t been made?’” he said during a preview, explaining that his imaginary film heroine “does everything Bond does but without using a gun and without degrading other people.”
His cinematic vision was so vivid, he spoke of it in scenes, “She’s starting out in Whitehall in London, her heels clicking in the corridors of power, she wears three-piece sharkskin suiting with gilets that could be the vestige of a gun holster or a bulletproof vest.”
The narrative unfolded on the runway as an exploration of Savile Row and military-inspired tailoring that relied heavily on the classics (an all-white, three-piece pantsuit with longer-length blazer was a highlight) while introducing a few new ideas into the canon (a safari green, short-sleeve utility pocket shirt over Bermuda shorts as a fresh take on a suit).
Griffiths deployed a pastel palette on shorts suits, and foulard silks on bias-cut maxiskirts worn with T-shirts to add femininity to the uniform look. He remixed Max Mara’s famous coats, cutting the 101 style on the bias and rendering it in a lovely powder blue cashmere, and adding swing to trenchcoats trimmed to a shorter length. He also reimagined the brand’s Whitney bag in mini crossbody, or oversized satchel shapes, for a woman to carry all her life essentials — including, presumably some more realistic flat shoes to get through all the action scenes. The finale was a series of bias-cut pastel gowns with fluttering panels worn by the big guns like Kaia Gerber, with holster suspender straps referencing back to Griffiths’ theme.
It was a grand vision, but with few surprises — and weighed down by costumey props like officer’s caps, neckties, knee socks and spectator pumps. It’s hard to imagine any real woman’s life — or wardrobe — being so perfectly scripted.