Travel: we haven’t done much of it recently, but we’ve been reading about it, and dreaming about it. Contrasting sharply with our own frantic pre-pandemic itineraries, Truman Capo- te’s ‘Local Color’ evokes the golden age of travel. It’s a reminder that you have to stay in a place long enough to really connect with it, and that the means of getting there, the plane trip, boat ride or train journey can be worth writing about -and dressing up for.
Capote’s ‘swans’ were queens of travel and glossy globetrotters whose lives were dedica- ted to the pursuit of poise and polish. Max Mara’s modern swan likes to be perfect in every situation too, though her life is rather more complex than the ones Capote wrote about. Career, family, friends, fun; she wants it all, she deserves it all, and right now she’s in the mood for a dose of sleek, jet set glamour.
Max Mara rewrites a chapter from the life of those legendary ladies who every season would descend on Paris to curate their wardrobes from the handy headquarters of the Plaza Athénée. There were elegant lunches at the Ritz and suppers at Maxim’s which are still talked about fifty years later. And, whilst that wardrobe was whisked together, a little down- time at a rocky retreat by the Mediterranean. Max Mara pictures days filled with expeditions to hunt down coveted artisanal footwear and straw baskets, ‘spaghettatas’ on board the yachts of industrial magnates, and nights spent rocking and rolling with the great and good in off-duty mode.
Mid-century silhouettes are reworked with sportswear overtones for a collection with con- temporary, go-anywhere elegance. The new silhouette revolves around a skirt that gathers just below the waist. Wear it with or without leggings, and an espadrille-sandal hybrid. The same gathered motif appears on the back of a snappy suit, a pull-on dress and a sporty spolverino. Max Mara’s iconic 101801 is reanimated in a tecno-luxe jersey that’s perfect for the change of season and emerges unscathed from the ignomy of being bundled into an overhead locker.
Max Mara presents a series of artfully clashing patterns in the cheery blush-to-pin- k-to-scarlet spectrum of the geraniums that cascade down the sunny facade of the Plaza Athénée. They are very similar to the ones that grow in Ischia, where Truman Capote spent the happy four months that he described in ‘Local Color’. Like the geranium, Max Mara works happily in both locations and anywhere in between.