Fictional female spy, Modesty Blaise, was the starting point for Max Mara’s Spring 2020 collection. The feminist answer to James Bond, Blaise uses cunning and subtlety where Bond relies on brute force.
“Modesty Blaise is the new 007,” said the brand in their show notes. “She admires Bond’s elegance, but questions his modus operandi. Bumpy car chases, shootouts and cataclysmic explosions – dangerous, dirty and unnecessary, she thinks. With a strategic hint and a well laid trap, she maneuvers her adversary into surrender. No need for a gun then, but the holster makes for a very stylish design detail.”
The collection thus serves as a wardrobe for a fictional heroine in a film that doesn’t exist, but certainly could and should.
The film begins in London – cars rolling through rain-streaked Whitehall, heels clicking briskly in the corridors of power, and the dark hush of a wood-paneled office. Blaise wears spy-style trenchcoats and sharp shouldered three-piece trouser suits in ‘sharkskin’ and Prince-de-Galles. Later, while lunching at a discreet Mayfair watering hole, she wears a playful mix micro foulard prints in black and white.
Then it’s off to the airport in her generously proportioned bush jacket and a perfectly designed Whitney bag.
A private jet delivers our heroine to a palm-fringed island where she favors tropical military uniforms – shorts that graze the knee and multi-pocketed shirts in eau-de-nil, shell pink, and powder blue. Perfect for keeping cool when chasing bad guys through the jungle.
Naturally, she is well prepared for more formal engagements as well – from cocktails with the subject of her assignment, to a grand affair at the Governor’s mansion.
Max Mara has spent years fostering relationships with and promoting women in Hollywood through their Women in Film initiative. If any fashion brand could get a film like this made, it’s them – and we would be the first ones there on opening night.
Check out the rest of the collection below.