Max Mara’s Digital Jubilee For Fall ’21 Included A Tribute To The Late Stella Tennant

by Freya Drohan

Max Mara might be turning 70 this year, but its regal muse is as youthful as ever. To celebrate the major milestone, designer Ian Griffiths presented his latest offering via a digital jubilee setting: a coronation-style crowning of an “unstoppable” and “self-made” Max Mara queen in her omnipresent camel outerwear.

In his show notes, Griffiths reflected on the brand’s beginnings in 1951, when a determined entrepreneur named Achille Maramotti could only have dreamed about how iconic his coat factory would one-day become. Maramotti started out making outerwear for wives taking a back seat to their high-flying professional other halves. The irony is not lost on us that all these decades later, the label is synonymous with outfitting the kind of powerful woman who wants to appear strong and in control, but yet still has a penchant for soft and elegant tailoring.

During the digital runway show at Milan’s Triennale design museum, which was transformed to look like London’s Regent Street during a coronation, the Max Mara ‘queen’ was bestowed with this season’s update to the brand’s world-famous teddy bear coat, in lieu of a crown. Indeed, whether you’re royalty or a stay at home mom, it doesn’t get more symbolic than receiving a wardrobe staple so synonymous with paving your own way in the world.

Another nod to the Queen herself came through in the cute alpaca and camel motifs on silk scarves—Queen Elizabeth II’s personal collection of foulards is legendary—in a tribute to the animal fibers the brand uses to make its famous garments. (No corgis here!) There were also quintessentially British kilts and countryside-ready knits and vests a’plenty, which are notable favorites of the monarchy leader too.

As the Suffolk-based designer said, “The Max Mara woman is a self-made queen. Britannic style with an Italian accent. Authentic and sometimes eccentric, it’s been a recurring theme at Max Mara right from the start and it’s the backbone of this anniversary collection.”

When designing this milestone offering, Griffiths had the late Stella Tennant on his mind; the Scotland-native tragically took her own life in December, after struggling with her mental health. The aristocratic supermodel, who had notably walked in Max Mara shows during the early days of her career, was known for her rebellious, androgynous sense of style, which came through in the more masculine, ready-for-the-moors separates.

This urban-countryside juxtaposition wasn’t without a certain air of cosmopolitan polish thanks to ruffles, silk, and diamond quilting. And with its mashup of British stoicism and Italian softness, it covers all bases for whatever life throws at the Max Mara woman. From what we’ve seen on The Crown, the actual Queen would surely approve too.

See the full collection below:

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