The Italian fashion house Max Mara, famous for the camel coats and chic clothes for professional adult women, presented in Berlin a collection inspired by Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie, with a touch of Meissen porcelain.
The Resort 2020 catwalk show was the first to be held at the Neues Museum, which was rebuilt by British architect David Chipperfield 60 years after being bombed during the second world war.
The neoclassical Museum and Berlin’s Bauhaus the fit perfectly with Max Mara architectural fashion and Ian Griffiths, the creative director of Max Mara, said he wanted to honour Berlin, a city that had meant so much to him as a young punk studying in Manchester in the early ‘80s. The Bauhaus movement created in Germany by Walter Gropius in 1919 under the motto “Kunst und Technik – eine neue Einheit” or “Art and technology, a new unity”, is still one of the most influential styles in modern design, no wonder it inspired Griffiths.
For the Resort 2020 collection, Griffiths mixed inspirations that seem unlike at first but that all have the culture and sub-culture of the German capital in common. In the ‘30s, the Berliner actress and singer Marlene Dietrich defied conventions wearing masculine tailoring in a super feminine and sexy way. David Bowie, who also lived for some time in Berlin, left his androgynous style of the ‘70s to embrace a sleeker look in the ’80s, with the oversized tailored suits and chic coats Griffiths recreated now with a shimmering update. The British designer, who’s been the head of Max Mara for over 30 years, also found inspiration in the archives of the German porcelain maker Meissen.
Max Mara Resort 2020 collection is a perfect blend of all these elements, with architectural and sophisticated tailoring pieces one could imagine Dietrich and Bowie wearing, some of them with white sequin flowers embellishing the shoulders that look like the delicate porcelain flowers made by Meissen.
Among the models who presented the stunning collection, the stars were the German singer Ute Lemper, the only one who wore high heels, and ocean conservation activist Carolyn Murphy, respectively 55 and 44 years old. Two mature and strong women who embody Max Mara’s style.
By the way, long before women’s empowerment became a buzz word, Max Mara was already making power dressing for women to feel comfortable about themselves and not worry about age or about revealing or concealing too much. Griffiths said that “Everyone in fashion is talking about empowerment now, but in Max Mara’s case, it is hardwired in.” And he added “If you say that your clothes are about empowerment, you must produce clothes that genuinely are empowering. The message of these clothes is about a woman who is determined to succeed and to overcome wearing clothes in which she will be taken seriously.”
I loved everything about this catwalk show, especially the shimmering Teddy Bear coat with lamé and the lurex trench coat that are classic Max Mara with an edge (talk about making an entrance!) and would love to wear each and every piece of this collection, singing “Heroes” with David Bowie!