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Avant-garde and Innovative: Max Mara Cruise 19’ Collection

A quest for equilibrium and harmony, innovation that respects history; the characteristics of the Italian artistic tradition have also defined its fashion culture. Max Mara’s founder completely understood both, and in both spheres his instinct unfailingly took him to the names that would make the biggest waves.

Max Mara Cruise 19′ collection looks at the Collezione Maramotti, in particular, within the early acquisitions from the nexus of avant-garde artists working in Milan, Rome and Turin; Burri, Fontana, Manzoni, Novelli, Twombly, Kounellis, PasCALI, Calzolari, Anselmo. Their bold gestures, truth to materials, latent energy, poetry and potent symbols inspire a take on modernity that’s tactile, deconstructed and raw-edged.

A palette that highlights materials in elemental colours. Ecru, zinc white, iron grey, jute, midnight blue, lamp black; paradoxically the tones of the humble materials favoured by those preconceptual pioneers work just as well for Max Mara’s noble fibres. To wit, a perfectly tailored suit in an exquisite blend of camel and silk -in the exact shade of raw canvas- takes luxury to a new level of relevance. But it’s not only about neutrals; look into Novelli’s ‘Dizzy’ and there are chalky pigments; ultramarine, viridian, lemon and pale powdery cadmium. Max Mara mixes them in painterly combinations that evoke springtime élan.

There’s a new emphasis on texture; the collection features patchworks and crinkly plisses like Manzoni’s ‘Achrome’, sculptural ruches like Burri’s ‘Ferro’ and Anselmo’s seminal Arte Povera work ‘Torsione’ inspires sinuous twists, knots and plaits. Twombly, Novelli and Kounellis were fascinated with the power of script. Separated from their literal meaning, letters turn into elegant dance like movements on the surface of the canvas, and the perfect inspiration for a series of calligraphic prints.

Max Mara puts outerwear on a pedestal. There’s a new double face in pure camel, cape-inspired volumes and reversible coats; cashmere on one side, textured nylon on the other. The most innovative of all; silk organza artfully tailored into a mannish overcoat with a camelhair wadding, its layers of transparency echo the delicately stratified burlap of Burri’s ‘Sacco e Rosso’.

Max Mara Cruise 19′ Collection