Max Mara’s spring summer 2024 collection drew its inspiration from Britain’s iconic land girls. The collection, which debuted at Milan Fashion Week yesterday, embodied utility glamour with a nostalgic pastoral twist.
Otherwise known as the Women’s Land Army, the land girls refers to the group of women who took to the land in the 1940s during World War Two. The women, who came from all backgrounds and social classes, were credited with keeping the nation nourished in the time of crisis.
As an ode to this ‘army of women’ Max Mara’s collection leant into utility wear and natural tones. On a runway swathed with flora, models donned military style jackets, trench coats and rompers in sandy hues, which also offered an understated luxury appeal.
The brand didn’t forget that the land girls were also known for their creative pursuits, with The Land Girl magazine publishing their poetry and literary efforts. To bring this story into the collection, Max Mara took inspiration from the work of literary icon Vita Sackville-West, whose book told the story of the land girls with a section dedicated to their poetry. According to the brand, Vita Sackville-West brought “dark-edged sardonic eccentricity” to the Max Mara mood board.
The images of Sackville-West’s garden at Sissinghurst inspired chintzy prints with full blown blooms realised in stylish black on beige. Likewise, contemporary newsreels and photographs that showed the women as “rosy-cheeked goddesses in the idyllic landscape” are the inspiration behind the brand’s new workwear classics.
These elements are released in pieces with pocking “capacious enough for a potting trowel” as well as clothing with strong reinforced stitching and backless sundresses inspired by gardener’s aprons.
While the brand might have drawn its inspiration from historical women, the collection is dedicated to the modern one—specifically the “big city girl” and the “modern mania for horticulture.”