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Max Mara, the spy who came in from the cold

Translated by
Nicola Mira
today Sep 19, 2019
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The grey skies shrouding Milan on Thursday fitted perfectly with the Max Mara show. The Italian ready-to-wear label chose in fact to plunge its audience in a Cold War atmosphere hovering between London’s gloomy mists and Moscow’s icy skies, inhabited by a posse of sexy, merciless spy girls led by Gigi Hadid.

Max Mara’s ‘spy girls’ - © PixelFormula

The basic outfit of this striking spy squad consisted of vertiginous high heels, knee-length stockings, jaunty hats and oversize, round-framed sunshades. Max Mara’s spook girls love to dress up as KGB agents, sporting long braids and military-style outfits with maxi pockets, which fit equally well on pleated skirts as on baggy shorts, referencing the collection’s leading item, the safari jacket.

Indeed, the typically masculine register of this spook army style was evident in the safari jackets that were ubiquitous in the collection, not to mention the epaulettes sewn onto t-shirts, the long tone-on-tone ties in the same colour of the shirts, and the adventurer gilets with zipped pockets.

Max Mara’s spy girls are perfectly disguised behind a business woman’s skirt or trouser suit, or a three-piece suit with Bermuda shorts, cut in grey flannel with Prince of Wales checks, the jackets with a power-shoulder edge. And of course, they never step outside without a trench coat and deliciously retro, black-and-white two-tone pumps.

Max Mara, Spring/Summer 2020 - © PixelFormula

These very special secret agents favour the more discreet monochrome looks, in which all the items, from shoes to socks, handbag, top, blouse, shorts and skirt, are featured strictly in a delicate palette of tone-on-tone hues, from pale pink to sky blue and faded mauve. A military look that also comes in denim fabric or in black silk with white polka dots, some outfits even including a hijab in the same material.

For an evening out, these Mata Haris wear long flowing frilled skirts or lightweight silk dresses with shoulder straps that leave their sensual backs bare, while a colourful silky cashmere coat is never out of reach.

Max Mara’s secret agents are always ready to plunge into new adventures, and their message seems to be that it is ‘No Time To Die’, echoing the forthcoming James Bond film.

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