To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths chose to present the 2020 Resort collection namely in the German capital. His approach is not surprising, having in mind that this is not the first time Griffiths is inspired by world art, architecture, history and design. The designer’s love for Berlin actually dates back to a long time from now. Having started back in the 1980s, when he was a student at the University of Manchester, his obsession with the city and the artists there continues to grow ever stronger even to the present day. In the new Max Mara collection, however, there is nothing reminiscent of the years that we’ve just mentioned, not even a hint at them. Max Mara resort 2020 brings out the features of Berlin, seen as a historical capital.
Like many other cruise collections, here, too, one of the main sources of inspiration while creating the designs is the location itself where the show was held, and namely Neues Museum. The brand is the first to present its collection in this challenging and vast art space, but we are quite convinced it’s not to be the last one. The museum hosts the largest pre-historical collection of artefacts and this very fact prompts to the colour spectre and the silhouettes of the clothes. Draped materials, beautifully shaping long skirts and dresses, as well as unfinished edges, suggesting fringes over the outfits, are just a part of the implications towards the historical past.
This is the right time to pay special attention to the jewellery—sculptured bracelets, necklaces and earrings are, once again, inspired by the space of the museum and its exposition halls. What makes the difference is that they are not just Max Mara’s, but they are the result of the unquestionably stunning collaboration between the Italian brand and ReemaPachachi.
Apart from the city and its architecture, what also inspired this collection are two famous habitants of its, David Bowie and Marlene Dietricht. As you might easily guess, both of them were not chosen at random. They make a wonderful pair with each other, sharing a common love of men’s styled suits, trench coats, and last but not least, shared viewpoints on life. Introducing this these ideas to the already-pictured inspirations, this project yields a very beautiful and thought-provoking collection, rich in ideas and highlights!
Unlike other cruise collections, we stayed away from a whirlpool of colours with Max Mara’s. Single fire-red designs were in contrast to the well-established, neutral colours, focused on the natural palette. Should we be honest, this is exactly what we were hoping for. Pure silhouettes and the less colours, the better. Well, we’ve got it all! All the fabrics and materials are simply out of the question—the Italian brand is famous its impeccability in this respect and this time once again it proves it.
During the show, in between all the inspirations, dresses, suits, stairs and camera flashes, we noticed something that quickly became something much more that the highlights of the nights. Some of the models, presenting the designs on the catwalk, were German singer Ute Lemper (55) and activist Carolyn Murphy (44). And as we feel obliged to admit, both of them looked stunning, dressed in white coats and trousers.
What kinds of coats, this is a cruise collection, right? Maybe this is what you are asking yourselves. Actually, the main designs in the collection were mainly the coats. This time, however, the famous last-year model Teddy Bear stepped down to the much more famous Berlin Coat, which is a new design for Max Mara, and as it comes obvious from the name it pays homage to Berlin. As far as considering coats in this collection is important, well… this is exactly where they belong. Just because the names of these “Cruise” or “Resort” collections are, in fact, quite misleading. What we see on the catwalk will actually be available on the hangers in the stores of great brands in November at the earliest. And the last last-but-one month of the year is quite an appropriate time for a new coat. A Berlin Coat, for instance!
Should we need to describe Max Mara’s collection in one word, then we would choose ‘different’. Different colours, different designs, different ideas and different inspirations… different from everything that we have seen recently. Ian Griffith has managed not just to pay homage to the German capital, its artists and history, not just to get inspired by them, but to recreate them in a way that scream ‘Berlin!’ once we look at them.
Text: Annie Georgieve