Max Mara starts day two of Milan Fashion Week with a collection bound to win the hearts of every OCD woman on the planet. In other words, if you’re the person who can never find the top to match your favorite skirt, Max Mara is about to drive you nuts. Everything in this collection is a complete matching ensemble, head to toe. No detail has been left out or unconsidered. These are ensembles well put together for the woman who leaves nothing to chance.

Sure, the pieces are largely designed as separates, so it’s not the biggest tragedy in the world if you have to put a solid colored top with that micro floral print. No one’s going to really notice the difference, are they? But then, do you really want to take that chance? Max has been careful to align seams just right. Black on white blouses blend perfectly with white on black skirts and slacks. Hats and big bow ties (again with the bows!) match boots and shoes and bags. There’s no confusion. Pink florals stay with pink florals. Mustard goes with mustard. Matching clothes hasn’t been this easy since you outgrew your Granimals.

What Max is slipping past us, almost unnoticed, is a number of 1970s influenced silhouettes, from one-piece maxi dresses to bomber jackets, cargo pockets, belted tops, jumpers, and cute little tunic dresses. He gives them a slightly contemporary twist with some curved lines that might originally have been straight, but when one takes a look at the pieces individually, the influence is rather obvious.

One also wants to take note of the amount of wool Mara uses in his knits. For a spring collection, that is going to mean being rather careful with those sweaters and dresses to avoid getting caught in a spring shower. The last thing one wants is to be caught in an air conditioned office sitting in wet or damp wool. The pieces are luxuriously comfortable to be sure, but one will want to pay attention to environmental conditions before deciding which piece to wear.

This is largely a two-toned collection, a deep chocolate brown on white. There are a few pieces in pink, then mustard, and later in blue/green before going to a real black. When one is so committed to a head-to-toe look, it is difficult to get too terribly adventurous with color, though.

Where the collection shines is in the details and accessories. Max seems to have thought of everything from where to precisely place belt loops and pockets to the exact height of boots to meet the hem of the matching skirt. The hates are absolutely darling, and I can even tolerate these bows when they pop up. The looks are incredibly well conceived and have an amazing affect as they go walking down the runway.

Of course, you realize Max has trapped you now. One simply cannot go in and just buy one piece. No, you’ll need to purchase the entire ensemble; it would be a crime to break up a matching set like this. Intelligent design, brilliant marketing. Max has thought of it all.

Photo credit: Gio Staiano

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