Max Mara Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Milan

Next spring MaxMara is taking the fashion world back to basics. Minimal that is, in an oh so sleek sophisticated urban way. The first look set the stealth wealth tone of the show. The creamy white knee-length slip dress and easy matching coat had a clean understated appeal from a distance, but wait just a minute, is that ensemble cut from double faced cashmere? Why, yes it is.

And that was what this show was all about. Great basics in luxe materials that won’t look out of date overnight.

There was a slight sense of a return to the discreet styles of the 1990s with this collection. It was easy to imagine the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy wearing the stiff linen dress and coordinating coat, that looked so cool and crisp on body of supermodel Karolina Kurkova. The shimmering sandy gold pencil skirts, easy capes and boxy raised seamed tops also would have served her well.

On the other hand the marble denim pieces, even those in a beige wash, was perhaps an unwise reference to the era. While the head to toe ensembles in vibrantly colored knitwear, light wool or cotton -which came paired with matching colored stockings, bags high heeled sandals and headscarves- were a styling distraction. They will look better once broken up and hanging on the racks in stores next spring.

A much harder sell will be the evening version of the slip dresses. Cut in semi transparent materials, they were paired with short shimmering metallic spaghetti strap bodysuits. For a brand famous for its almost unerring talent to dress the modern working woman, those were a bit of a head scratcher.

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