“Contemporary fiction needs more women secret agents”, this is what Natasha Walter writes in her book A Quiet Life, where an intricate spy story is centred around a woman secret agent. Yes, you read that right… a woman! And speaking of agents, we can’t not remember him, probably the most famous one in cinema and literature – Bond. James Bond! But can you imagine what Mr Bond would look like if he were a woman? Could the black-tie suit be replaced by a little black dress? Could a woman be as skilful at espionage? These and a number of other such questions find their answers in the face Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths. His collection spring/summer 2020 was presented during Milan Fashion Week and to our great surprise it was inspired namely by the popular character and is dedicated to all brave, confident and strong working girls.
Miss Secret Agent is beautiful, a little emotional – typically for a woman, but never chaotic and even less so confused. She has in herself that all-time classic elegance and she needs no weapons because the kills with a look. And she changes (male) worlds! It is exactly this kind of woman who can open the men’s wardrobe and choose whatever she wishes and then, naturally, it looks good on her!
The new Max Mara collection proves exactly this, presenting formal and elegant suits seen in a different way. There are the elongated jackets, there are the trendy shorts, there are the narrow neckties, the military skirts and the pencil skirts with practical pockets that can fit a magnifying glass or a lipstick. A question of necessity! As far as the coats are concerned, Max Mara is brand famous namely for its cashmere coats, but this time the topic was the spring, which promises spring and, what is even better, brings the summer, and therefore coats were not on the schedule. Not that they were completely absent from the show, of course, but they were considerably lighter and generally replaced by their cousin the trench coat.
We liked what we saw, the collection has everything that is needed for a lady’s stylish wardrobe even if she were a spy. Be it a high-speed car chase or an evening at the casino, Max Mara’s secret agent is ready for everything. And no, obviously nobody forgot about the dresses. They are also very present – long, simple, pastel and satin. Yes, and very feminine! They made us dream about the summer and it has just ended! You are not playing by the rules, Agent Max Mara!
As far as colours are concerned, there were predominantly subtle and pastel shades and they naturally flowed into the designer outfits. To put it in other words, we saw (felt and even heard) a contemporary rhapsody, starting with cold grey nuances followed by a soft lilac touch and finishing with pastel satin embraces. Apparently, Griffiths also paid due respect to the brand’s signature colour, camel, which was comfortably nestled in trench coats, skirts and sweaters.
The soft colours completely replaced prints and patters, which we didn’t see at all. With one exception – Their Majesties Polka Dots. In their classic rendition – white on a dark background, we saw them on skirts, jackets and dresses, and they were the perfect highlight to the monochrome designs in the show.
As usual, the woman secret agent dressed by Max Mara is different. She doesn’t look like Bond and, in fact, she doesn’t want to. She drives fast, wears stylish make up, dark lipstick and knee highs, her dreams go beyond the realm of the possible. She doesn’t have a gun and she makes up her own challenges and she is responsible for her own happiness. Because she is a Woman! Temperamental and bold, she will never hesitate to jump out of a helicopter in order to save the world. If she needs to! And she won’t take long before deciding to travel for several hundred kilometres to see a friend and help her rebuild her world after someone had dared shatter it. Because this is how you do it! And meanwhile she will be wearing her heels, making plans (for the future) and still saving the world… with style! Because she is a woman and any woman can do this!
Text: Annie Georgieva
Photos: Max Mara