Max Mara’s Resort 2021 presentation was originally set to take place amidst the gilded salons of the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, but, as with many other cruise events, it had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Nevertheless, creative director Ian Griffiths spun his fascination with the city and its history into an exquisitely elegant collection that offers a more feminine take on the label’s signature unfussy sophistication, and which more than makes up for what would surely have been a spectacular show.
Titled Reason and Romance, the collection is an ode to the magnificence of the former Russian capital, whose neo-classical architecture echoes Max Mara’s passion for order and of course, good design. Drawing on the lavish costumes of Belle Époque masquerade balls maintained in the State Hermitage Museum’s archives, which Griffiths had the honour of visiting, the designer imagines a new-age royal wardrobe worthy of Prince Felix Yusupov and his wife Princess Irina, full of softly tailored suits, drop-waisted dresses, chic urban separates, and subtle gold accents.
Exploring the tension between rigour and romanticism, classicism and modernity, an austerely-cut cashmere tunic is contrasted with a frothy handkerchief-hemmed skirt, and the iconic teddy bear coat in milky white is worn over a gossamer lamé dress. Antique-looking gold embroidery inspired by the ceremonial uniforms of the aristocracy adorn the lapels of tuxedo jumpsuits, while rococo florals borrowed from palatial staterooms blossom on shift dresses and tunic tops. All the looks are paired with an embellished scarf headband, and arrive in a predominantly monochrome palette punctuated by glimpses of sky blue and the Italian house’s emblematic shade of camel.
See every look in Max Mara’s Resort 2021 collection below.