Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths has been channeling hints of Nineties-inspired fashion for a while now, yet always infusing them with dashes of the Seventies and the Eighties. For his Max Mara spring/summer 2017 collection, however, he solely focused on the Nineties, catapulting us back in what appears to be the fashion industry’s decade of the moment.
While earlier this year, for the Max Mara fall/winter 2016-17 collection, he focused on super heroine figures, this time around he transposed this motif to a sort of near-future elegant dystopia, with unapologetically wearable garments that, however, are mostly closer to haute couture than ready-to-wear.
His previous collection celebrated all of those women who had the chance to study, create and be powerful during the Twenties, with the lines and overall style of the proposals being inspired by the Bauhaus movement (women were allowed to attend design and art courses at Bauhaus, in Germany). This lineup emotionally looks up to a (hopefully non-so-) distant future, when women are not automatically considered as a weaker gender, and are therefore equally celebrated as men are.
With futurism being at the core of this Max Mara spring 2017 collection, Max Mara’s signature harmoniously constructed silhouettes shifted from more modern constructivism-inspired figures to fluid and sinuous post-modernist ones, the appliqués and cuts of which got emphasized in their futuristic appeal with sleek fabrics, metallic materials and ethereally lightweight sheer embellishments.
Although being heavily futuristic, the 43-piece collection leaves some room for urban-chic and even athleisure-inspired ensembles too, with even a few romantic pieces tracing us back to Max Mara’s most bon-ton signature staples.
The Max-Mara spring/summer 2017 line-up could be, in fact, divided into three main sections, with each section featuring the same energy and well-tailored style as the previous one. The first part is all about futurism at its purest, with otherworldly slip dresses, goddess-like frocks and elongating jumpsuits dominating the scene.
Princess Leia Organa-inspired dresses (I hope Griffiths drew inspiration from her) revamp the first section with shorter hems and more billowy lines, as well as with fanciful bright white shades. Wide belts cinched at the waists create common fil rouge throughout this whole section, while subtle botanical patterns introduce us to the second one.
The second part takes Nineties-inspired retro-futuristic vibes and translates them to more urban-chic aesthetics, which inevitably took ready-to-wear silhouettes and overwhelmed them with loads of athleisure patterns. Botanical prints spice up each one of the proposals with a strong street style allure, only to be interrupted by few total-black outfits and office-ready attire options that undeniably exude Max Mara’s historic contemporary appeal.
The collection’s third part came then unexpectedly, as it featured neither futuristic vibes, nor athleisure-infused statement pieces. Before introducing us to this third section, Griffiths took the time to experiment with monochrome, bold urban-chic jumpsuits, available in bright blue, red, white and yellow (which already are some of next summer’s must-have colors).
Then, after treating us to transitional animal garments, he finally welcomed the Max Mara spring 2017 collection’s most ‘conventionally summer-ready’ designs, here finished off with delicate floral embroideries, boho-chic frocks, and fairy butterfly sleeves. The lineup thus drew to a close in the most delicate, feminine way ever, charming us with almost magical vibes from the natural world.
With his Max Mara spring/summer 2017 collection, Ian Griffiths confirmed once again that he is one of those few designers who understand any woman’s needs, and we honestly couldn’t be happier.
Photos courtesy of Vogue