MFW: MAX MARA F/W 2014

Mornings in Milan can be quite lovely even this time of year. One gets up to a cool but not too frigid sunshine, enjoys a cup of espresso with a puff pastry, pretends to be able to read the local paper, and then heads out to the Max Mara fall/winter show and enjoys a lovely display of British fashion.

Wait, British? But, aren’t we in Milan?

Well, yes, this is still Milan, but Mara takes on a very heavy British flavor with a line dominated by heavy wool houndstooth coats and a shiny faux croc gold print playing both in separates and shoes for the first few looks. The aesthetic is very eye catching, especially when the model is obviously wearing a skirt under that coat, but no top. Okay, that is the Milan touch. Who wears tops under coats in Milan?

Attempted humor aside, this is a very down-to-earth, very practical, very wearable fall/winter collection from Max Mara. Silhouettes are full, but not to the point that one completely loses any sense of femininity. Fabrics are comfortable, and for the most part seasonally appropriate. One might want to check the weather report before selecting the sleeveless jacket, but as long as it’s not too frigid out Max has a beautiful cashmere sweater that would look quite lovely under that coat. Hemlines are rather long, which is a bit different from several collections we’ve seen. Max’s skirts and dresses come well below the knee, some even flirting with the ankle.

Colours are kept to earth tones and quite nicely blended in some of the knits, but for the most part in solids throughout the collection. That gold faux croc is about as close to a print as Mara gets this season. Styling, instead, takes on the larger importance, with attention to the smaller details really giving the line a lot of value. There’s one particular jacket whose shoulder styling is extremely well done with an extra fold of tweed over brushed wool.

As crazy as some of the styles may get later in the day, it is nice to start the morning with solid, wearable fashion designed with the average woman in mind. This is a very attractive and sensible collection that should play strongly in stores this fall.

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