top of page
  • LUISA ZARGANI

Max Mara Resort 2024

Creative director Ian Griffiths developed the collection around Nordic tales and traditions.



Max Mara’s creative director Ian Griffiths believes “clothes do not have to declare what is inspiring them. Clothes embody ideas without declaring them. I have this conversation all the time with students who think that their design work should declare all those intellectual discussions that have gone into their ambitious research, but actually they should be inherent.”


Griffiths’ mood board reflected his own research for Max Mara’s resort 2024 collection, shown in Stockholm on Sunday evening to celebrities including Amy Adams, Lily Collins, Demi Moore, Lili Reinhart and Kieran Shipka, but clearly impressed his own vision on those early inspirations. Starting, for example, from Nordic folk pieces, he said he “stripped away the décor or, the other way around, taking Max Mara classics and adding decorations,” which he admitted was new for him, such as tassels and studs to the brand’s Teddy coat, and giving it a modern vibe.


Max Mara Resort Preview 2024GIOVANNI GIANNONI/WWD


With this collection, which was mainly in black and white with touches of Kasha, he added quirky details or embellishments. The collar on a white pull-on shirt had black pom-poms; boxer shorts peeped under sleeveless jackets; a linear tunic with drawstrings had braid inserts on the sleeves and a cashmere shawl was embellished with sequins.


His goal was to translate “a cerebral research into a real concrete product. There is nothing wrong with easy clothes that should be easy to wear.”


A black sweater with gigot, or lamb-of-mutton sleeves, worn over sleek black pants was translated from a faded photo of a late 19th-century whalebone dress.


Ahead of the show, staged at Stockholm’s landmark City Hall, built in 1911 and recognizable as a symbol of the city with its tower and red brick structure, where the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Sciences are hosted, Griffiths expanded on the many layers behind the collection, but he achieved what he wanted. The lineup effortlessly translated into a wearable yet intriguing Max Mara collection aligned with the brand’s flair but perhaps a little bit more experimental and younger. “As I get older, I have more affinity with younger people,” admitted Griffiths.


Max Mara Resort Preview 2024GIOVANNI GIANNONI/WWD


“I thought people would enjoy experiencing Stockholm; it runs slightly contrary to the things we and other brands have been looking at in the past, resorts that tended to focus on south-facing locations, sunny hot places,” the designer said.


He recalled that last year, within days of the resort show staged in Lisbon, there were tragic wild fires in Portugal and all over Europe, and he started to think about the north, “and the appealing temperate climate.”


Griffiths had read that tourism to Nordic countries was on the rise, “and with that would come a new appreciation of Nordic landscape, nature, design and cool cities, and a sense of equality and fairness.”


Moreover, he said he had always associated with Scandinavia “a sense of magic and fairy tales.” To him, the area has always been the world of “Peer Gynt,” the 1876 play by Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, of folk influences and the magic of fairies. “This is a new ingredient for Max Mara which is generally very rational,” he said.


The designer was also influenced by Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf, the first female recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909, and the tales and classical myths that inspired her, while also embracing her progressive views.


“Max Mara celebrates women pioneers who have broken boundaries and this contributes to making a point about the brand’s mission to dress successful women who in their own way deserve a Nobel Prize, the accolade of absolute excellence,” he said.


There were also references to the traditional celebration of midsummer. The name of the collection itself, “Septem Flores” or Seven Flowers in English, points to the custom of collecting seven types of flowers from seven different fields, which are placed under the pillow to inspire dreams of a future loved one.

Accordingly, floral prints embellished long and flowing white or black bias-cut dresses in jersey or organza with contrasting details such as mannish oversize cuffs, and were worn with laced-up platform canvas boots. Romantic, yes, but also a bit goth, claimed Griffiths. Crochet dresses with fringes at the bottom were livened up by folk and graphic floral patterns.


Max Mara Resort Preview 2024GIOVANNI GIANNONI/WWD


The designer wanted to drive home another concept, wanting to distance himself from the traditional idea of resort collections aimed for cruises and warm climates. “This collection is not aimed at women traveling to hot countries [in winter] because that applies to so few women. In the case of most women, it’s a product for women to cheer themselves up in that gloomy period between Christmas and the end of February,” Griffiths explained. “If they are not traveling to the Bahamas or Barbados but they are staying in London or Milan, they can still buy these clothes for the office and then still wear them when it will be warmer.”







https://wwd.com/runway/resort-2024/all/max-mara/review/





Comments


bottom of page