It’s been 70 years since Achille Maramotti founded Max Mara in his hometown of Reggio Emilia. Back then, he married the label’s now signature Britannic style and Italian flair for the wives of the local notaries and doctors who eventually went on to get jobs of their own. According to the show’s notes, “They rose and rose, and Max Mara went with them.”
Fitting then that for the fashion house’s anniversary, creative director Ian Griffiths, an ex-punk rocker who has been with the label since winning a student competition in 1987, designed the Fall 2021 collection with strong, independent women in mind. (The late Stella Tennant, who walked the Max Mara runway many times during her career, could be seen on the designer’s mood board.) The press release continued, “She’s the kind of woman who handles anything that life throws at her calmly, capably, and with insouciant glamour”—and dressed in head-to-toe MM, of course.
The show began with a coronation of a model—though, in true Max Mara fashion, she received not a crown but a teddy bear-like coat. More cuddly numbers soon appeared, now offered in khaki and tartan fabrics, while the house’s signature camel hair appeared on diamond-quilted jackets. Griffiths brought some new styles to the runway (which had been decked out to resemble London’s Regent Street) as well, such as oversized bombers (printed with “1951” on the back, they nevertheless nodded to the past) and super-soft alpaca wool “thornproof” jackets, replete with pockets (and lots of them).
Such outerwear could be paired with the season’s silk kilts, velvet elbow-patched aran knits, tattersall checked suits, or printed headscarves, which seemed to take a page from Queen Elizabeth II herself. For a thoroughly modern accent, follow makeup artist Tom Pecheux’s lead and swipe on a mossy green pigment at eye level.
Below, watch Max Mara’s Fall 2021 video.