Berlin lies on a rich fault line of art and architecture. Now, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall it also stands as an icon of rebirth and unity. And so to the German capital we went for the Max Mara Resort 2020 show. Held at the Neues Museum, the models walked through an atrium displaying treasures of the ancient world. This is where the famous bust of Nefertiti lives – her transcendent symmetrical beauty as potent now as when she breathed. The museum resonates with history as does Berlin.
Europe’s dark heart resides here. You can’t walk down the street without being reminded of it. Look down and you might see a single golden cobble which denotes a house where German Jews were taken from in the Nazi era. But look up and you might see a rainbow Jesus painted on the Berlin Wall. The freedom to be who you want to be – the Berghain spirit – pulses through this city, but the vast and moving holocaust memorial serves as a poignant reminder that freedom can never be taken for granted.
Against this potent backdrop Max Mara showed. Creative Director Ian Griffiths picked up the thread of ancient cultures and wove them together with the free spirit of Berlin – the masculine suits of Marlene Dietrich and the androgyny of David Bowie. This collection was an ode to tailoring but not the bland corporate kind. Trouser suits formed the backbone of almost every look. Trench coats added clandestine glamour, evening looks followed the same silhouette as day but glimmered with golden thread. The colours echoed the sandy bleached out tones of the exquisite antiquities found in the museum’s galleries. The brand paid homage to the city – its history, craft and complexities with the Berlin coat: porcelain white, strictly tailored but adorned with embroidered flowers inspired by Meissen. Max Mara arrived at its own sense of classicism when Ute Lemper and Carolyn Murphy crossed paths on the runway. Timeless talented women – they are part of the Max Mara DNA.
by Claudia Croft