If you were to take Max Mara’s runway show literally, you’d be covered head-to-toe (or, to be exact, sou’wester-to-boot) in dots and dashes next spring. Of course you wouldn’t, but if you’re a print lover, this is a collection to cheer you up. A good three quarters of the show was printed with the aforementioned scattered dabs of black on white or white on black, or with miniscule mixtures of daisies and tulips or, alternatively, with arty Marimekko-like florals in pink or green. Shown in coordinated midi-length dresses, skirts, and coats with piped edges, it’s all part of the seventies trend that’s turning up again. In reality, though, a piece or two pulled out of the total looks wouldn’t read retro at all.
The brand had been back to that particular spot in the decade—1971 to be precise—when “granny prints,” as they were then called, were in fashion. The program notes referred to a Max Mara advertising campaign, featuring Anjelica Huston, which was shot in that year in the ornate surroundings of the Grand Hotel et de Milan. Other Huston-isms were visible, too—references to the mannish tailoring (strong shoulders, pinstripe white linen, piped blazers) in which she was often photographed at the time. Further tenuous allusions to the period could be read into the use of sleekly suede coats and wrapover skirts, although it transpired that the material wasn’t leather but a more fluid synthetic lookalike, Alcantara—a modern update on Ultrasuede, Halston’s favorite fabric of the disco-glam New York seventies.