Max Mara Pre-Fall 2023

If Marilyn Monroe were alive today, she’d look fabulous in one of Max Mara’s enveloping Teddy Bear coats—at least that is what Ian Griffith believes. “We share the same MM initials,” he said at a pre-fall appointment. “But there’s also a symmetry between a sex symbol like she was, yearning to stretch beyond her sex-bomb persona, and the intelligent Max Mara woman, who sometimes wants to let go of her more sensible side.”

Griffith focused on a year Monroe spent in New York, away from the Hollywood studios, when she was eager to mingle with the city’s intellectual and creative milieu. That time in her life was the subject of Elizabeth Winder’s Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy, a book that inspired Griffith to work on a collection he called Iconoclassics. “Of course the epithet is overused, but I truly believe Marilyn deserves it,” he said, noting that her cultural significance is still so strong even young people are drawn to her.

Cue this season’s curvaceous jeans ensembles in soft makeup shades, workwear-inspired mechanics’ overalls, and man-sized paperbag-waist carpenter pants, rendered in chic radzimir or duchesse satin. The Teddy Bear coat, which is now 10 years old, has been rendered in a new raspberry hue referencing the makeup shades Marilyn favored. Lipsticks, nail varnishes, and mascaras were printed on languid silk pajamas, which she might’ve styled nonchalantly under one of Max Mara’s iconic camel coats. “This collection is really about icons on icons,” joked Griffith.

To that end, he re-edited two early examples of Max Mara’s coats, which graced the cover of the forward-thinking Italian magazine Arianna in 1961. The neat belted wrap style in camel-colored cashmere would’ve fit right in Marilyn’s everyday wardrobe. There is a famous photo of her in the New York subway in which she wears a beige coat. “I didn’t want to emphasize red carpet options,” explained Griffith. “Just things she would’ve worn to hang out with her artsy friends.”

Yet a modicum of glamour cannot be avoided where Marilyn is concerned, so a body-hugging draped dress in champagne-colored taffeta, as well as a curvy black number in techno jersey and a sensual slip dress with sequins under a layer of georgette were also in the picture. If Griffith wanted to make the case about Max Mara being a brand imbued with iconic connotations, regardless of the overused status of the epithet, he hit the mark.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *