Max Mara Resort 2019 in runway show in Collezione Maramotti, Italy
Fashion Week

Max Mara Resort 2019: An Artistic Tribute

Resounding with the influence of Italy's legendary avant-garde artists, Ian Griffiths' collection was rife with surprising textures and refreshingly redesigned coats.
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Fashion is perpetually entwined in a waltz with art. Perhaps the designer who is most attuned to that dance at the moment is Raf Simons, whose plethora of art-inspired creations for Calvin Klein now counts yet another Warhol-printed collection. A worthy contender would be Gucci's Alessandro Michele, whose artistic collaborations have spawned several Instagram-worthy collections, or Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri, whose creative approach involves referencing the works of female artists. With his Resort 2019 collection for Max Mara, creative director Ian Griffiths officially put on his dancing shoes and swayed to a similar rhythm. 

The collection was an homage to Max Mara's art-collecting founder.
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Griffiths chose to hold the show at the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, the building that served as Max Mara's first headquarters and now houses founder Achille Maramotti's private art collection. As a tribute to Maramotti, Griffiths' collection was inspired by the artworks in the gallery, which boasts a roster of avant-garde Italian artists such as Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and Giovanni Anselmo. The result was a range of elegant coats and eveningwear pieces that echoed with a distinctive artistic influence, starting with the colours.

The garments had a painter's palette.

 

 

 

Throughout the collection, the neutral tones of white, grey and black mingled with the chalky hues of Pietro Novelli's Baroque paintings, including ultramarine, viridian and lemon. Some tailored suits even came in the shade of raw canvas. Other than nodding to the collection's influences, the muted colours also served another purpose: to highlight the thoughtful design details of the clothes.

Texture was everything...

 

 

 

Patchworks, plaits, sculptural ruches, twists, knots — the whole works were on display on this season's pants, bodices and blouses. They weren't random either; the intricate details of the collection were pulled straight from the textured works of Burri and Anselmo, attesting to Griffiths' observant eye for detail.

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... especially for the bags.

 

 

 

You couldn't miss them; almost every other model was lugging one of the collection's crinkly plissé leather bags in their arms as they walked down the runway. Griffiths has Piero Manzoni's Achrome artwork series to thank for the unusual texture of the bags, which in our opinion make for some of this season's most distinctive offerings yet.

Lettering turned into prints...
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Scripts were stripped of their meaning and used to decorate dresses, sweaters pants, resulting in a sort of antithesis to the logos that currently pervade the runways. By taking cues from the works of Cy Twombly and Jannis Kounellis, Griffiths created an array of calligraphic prints that stand out against the otherwise bare-surfaced collection.

... and coats were transformed as capes.

 

 

Max Mara has always been known for its exquisite outerwear, and this season was no different. There were reversible coats — cashmere on one side, textured nylon on the other — and masculine overcoats made of silk organza, but the most noteworthy of all were Griffith's reworkings of the brand's signature garment, the camel coat. Presented in a black version for the opening look and a white one for the closing look, Griffiths' update to the 101801 coat featured sliced sleeves, allowing it to be worn as an elegant cape instead.

Discover the entire Max Mara Resort 2019 collection below:

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