MILAN, Italy – One could be forgiven for thinking it’s summer in Milan right now with clear blue skies prompting fashion week attendees to forgo their planned jackets and outerwear for all but one show: Max Mara. Despite the warm temperatures, the Italian fashion label’s beloved teddy bear coats were a standout addition to the front row on Thursday morning as editors sipped espressos and ate mini croissants while mingling before the first show of the day’s (fashionably) late start.
Kaia Gerber kicked things off, appearing at the end of the runway in a navy coat dress, tights and patent heels with smudged eyeliner and her signature messy bob featuring an added long plait. Following her came Bella Hadid and a sea of models wearing oversized blazers, camel suits and coats upon coats (a notable inclusion is the aforementioned teddy bear coat in a floor-length iteration).
Instead of going big and bold for his show, designer Ian Griffiths instead stuck to what works: creating beautiful, wearable garments that are quintessentially the Max Mara woman. Matching the set to his vision, the show was paired back and understated with the perfect music to match.
This season, Griffiths took inspiration from the seaside with the addition of more navy hues and flannel pinstriped trousers – baggy, rather than tailored – being the only exception to the monochrome rule. Dresses were tied at the waist with belts made of rope and pirate tassels hung from each model’s hair.
“She sits at her desk and entertains fantasies of running away to sea,” the show notes read. “Her dreams cast her as the captain of her own ship.”
Among the ocean references and signature Max Mara styles, the collection unexpectedly included ruffles, gathering and tiers on the likes of sheer shirts and bomber jackets. Velvet dresses, pants and coats were made for evenings and Bella Hadid perfectly closed the show in a mix of both.