A royal parade hit Milan on Thursday, with a pack of impeccably dressed women striding through the flag-lined streets. In reality, Max Mara’s digital runway presentation was staged in the city’s Trienalle design museum, but the celebratory sentiment to mark the house’s 70th birthday – or platinum jubilee – still rung true.
During the lockdown of 2020, the house’s creative director Ian Griffiths spent his days holed up in the Suffolk countryside watching The Crown. No surprise, then, that Queen Elizabeth II played muse for autumn/winter 2021. But it wasn’t Her Majesty’s rainbow-hued hats and gloves that shaped his sketches, but rather her off-duty wardrobe: thick tweeds, cosy cardigans, calf-skimming kilts, Tattersall checks, sturdy walking shoes and headscarves tied just so.
Classic Max Mara hits also starred on the runway – namely cashmere trenches, reworked in contemporary khaki with fuzzy teddy layers. Then there were oversized bomber jackets, quilted gilets and neat capes – all fit for a weekend traversing the Scottish moors of Balmoral.
The 1951 logo was splashed on slouchy knits and on the back of jackets in graphics from the Italian house’s original campaign. But Max Mara has come a long way since its launch 70 years ago, when founder Achille Maramotti declared his sights were set on “the wives of the local notaries and doctors”. Since then, those women have become notaries and doctors in their own right, and Max Mara has evolved with them.
And so, said Griffiths, while this nostalgic anniversary collection was inspired by the Queen, it was created for today’s self-made queens.