MaxMara: PreFall 2023

Marilyn  Monroe and Max  Mara;  the connection is  much deeper than the alliterative double M. There’s a certain symmetry in the relationship between the sex symbol with a yen to show o! her smarter side and the paragon of  intelligence who longs to give vent to her sensual self. As famous now as she was in the fifties, Marilyn  really does merit the overused epithet ‘iconic’.

She has figured in  various Max  Mara  collections over the years; this time the focus is  on  the Marilyn described in  Elizabeth Winder’s ‘Marilyn  in  Manhattan:  Her  Year  of  Joy’.  That was the year when she educated herself, developed her tastes in literature, music and art, and formed friendships with writers and intellectuals, including her second husband to be, Arthur Miller.

We imagine the Marilyn  that might have been, had the Studios allowed her to stay in New  York, magically transported to the city  of today. Modern Marilyn  has moved on  from the oo-boo-bi-doo days; she favours curvaceous jeans and jeans jackets in luscious shades of  maquillage: champagne, blush, Bellini,  powder and raspberry. She borrows liberally from her lovers’ wardrobes: she sports man-size carpenter pants and  mechanics’  overalls, always cinched  with masculine  belts.  Max   Mara   recuts  them  in   lustrous duchesse satin and radzmir for hanging out at highbrow city  soirées.

It’s  on  record that back in the day, Marilyn  enjoyed a daily  run.  Max Mara  imagines that she would have embraced modern technical sports gear as enthusiastically as she adopted men’s clothes. Hence an impeccable sheath dress, a full skirt and an iconic 101801  coat in techno-mesh. In her New  York  period, Marilyn  may have embraced a more branché style of  dress, but she never relented in her beauty regime. Those unfailing psychological props from her beauty case -lipsticks, nail  polish, mascara, blusher and perfume- feature in a series of pop art prints.

Camel coats, like the one in  which Marilyn  was snapped on  the subway, are packed with iconographic codes.  Originally tokens  of  masculine prestige, Max  Mara  has claimed to them to symbolise women’s empowerment. We present two styles drawn from the earliest examples in the historic Max Mara Archive. From 1961, a neatly proportioned belted wrap coat in camel coloured cashmere –rather like Marilyn’s- and for the in-between season an unlined double breasted cappottino, masterfully tailored for lightness.

Another deserving recipient of the ‘iconic’ label is surely the Max Mara Teddy Bear Coat, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in  2023.  Max  Mara  marks the occasion with a re-edition of  the cuddly covetable classic in  a delicious make-up  shade  and a new addition to the  family. Inspired by Marilyn,   ‘Teddy Teddino’ is  a flu!y  take on  the jeans jacket. There’s a collectible commemorative T-shirt  too, featuring photographs by the celebrated artist William  Wegman of his  famous Weimaraners wearing the cult  coat.


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