Lucinda Chambers’ Capsule Collection For Weekend Max Mara Is Effortless, Elegant And Eclectic

Just like the fashion icon herself

“I’m tidying up my desk,” says Lucinda Chambers, when we speak over the phone. “My desk has never been so tidy. In fact, my desk has never been tidy at all!” she adds with a laugh. While most home workers acquiesced to sweatpants and their favourite T-shirt long ago, it would take more than COVID-19 to compromise Chambers’ legendary style. Today, the British style icon and former magazine fashion director is dressed in a pair of “really old” cream Arket trousers, an & Other Stories tee, and gold earrings by Colville, the label she launched with two friends in 2018.

The brand was a foray into design for Chambers, and led to her latest project: designing a capsule collection for Weekend Max Mara. It came about after a chance meeting with her old friend Giorgio Guidotti, the brand’s communications chief, who persuaded her to bring her eye for style to the storied Italian label. “It was my idea of heaven,” she says of creating the range, although she admits she found the free-rein aspect daunting. “If somebody says you can do whatever you like, with no restrictions, you’re kind of paralysed,” she says. “Well, I thought I would be. But I wasn’t.”

max mara
Brit supermodel Karen Elson wears the Lucinda Chambers designed collection (Credit: Jack Davison/Max Mara)

Chambers immediately got to work compiling a Pinterest board full of ideas for the line, “right down to the carrier bag”. She even had a name for it: Re-Find. This chimed with her environmentally friendly concept, which was to produce one design for every key item. “Just one. That’s all anybody needs. I wanted to do the definitive, so that if I blindfolded myself and took two things, they would go with each other like a perfect jigsaw puzzle,” she explains. Keen to focus on sustainability, Chambers hoped to utilise all the surplus fabrics she assumed were languishing in Max Mara’s warehouses. “But, amazingly, they don’t have any. They’re so organised and ahead of the curve that they use it all,” she says.

The stylist turned designer had a clear idea of the customer she was designing for, honed over years of attending Max Mara’s fashion shows in Milan. “I wanted to be very respectful of the brand—not throw the baby out with the bathwaterthough also attract a new customer as well. Max Mara has so much heritage, but I also wanted to break boundaries a little bit and push it on. It’s real clothes for real women. I really believe in it, and I really want women to buy it.”

And given Chambers’ vast experience in the womenswear market—and the collection’s easy layers, chic prints and exquisite craftsmanshipit’s inevitable that women will.

This article originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of marie claire Australia.

Related stories