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  • Godfrey Deeny

Max Mara to stage cruise 2022 show on island of Ischia in late June

It looks like fashion runways are finally about to start warming up.

After 15 months of online fashion seasons and virtual catwalks shows, several luxury marques will stage shows on actual catwalks in the next two months.

The latest major player is Max Mara, which will stage its next cruise collection on Ischia, the sister island of Capri, located in Italy's Bay of Naples, on Tuesday, June 29. Known as L’Isola Verde, due to its tinted local tufa rock and rich vegetation, Ischia has long attracted artists and writers. Luchino Visconti, whose The Leopard is perhaps Italian fashion’s favorite film, owned a villa there; while great writers like W.H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Pascal Quignard wrote poems and novels on the island. And Italy’s most successful living author, Elena Ferrante, set much of her famed four-book Neapolitan Novels on the 46-square-kilometer island. Ischia has also long attracted filmmakers – from Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor to The Talented Mr. Ripley with Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Jude Law.

Max Mara plans to stage its show in Italy’s hotel of the moment, Mezzatorre, revamped by the gifted hotelier Marie-Louise Scio, who also oversees Il Pelicano, north of Rome. Mezzatorre is a luxury five-star based on a 15th-century castle, boasting its own rocky cove; volcanic mud baths; three therapy pools in the island’s famed thermal hot springs flow and magnificent views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A sunset show with a live audience of just a few score of friends of the house.

The show will mark Max Mara’s first outside of Milan since its show inside the Neues Museum on Museum Island in Berlin. Last summer, due the pandemic, the house had to cancel a planned cruise show in St Petersburg. In February, Max Mara presented a fashion video of its for fall/ winter 2021 collection shot inside La Triennale design museum in Milan.

However, the marque was keen to return to the catwalk, especially as this is the 70th anniversary of the brand founded by Maramotti family in 1951.

The cruise season kicks off before a limited audience this evening with Chanel’s homage to Cocteau inside the Carrières de Lumière caverns, in the ancient village of Baux-de-Provence. And continues on June 17 with a Christian Dior cruise show in Athens, whose exact location has not yet been revealed. While on June 13, Ferrari plans to unveil its debut fashion collection at its headquarters in Maranello, in northern Italy.

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