Max Mara: Resort 2025

“There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that when you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden,” wrote Mary Shelley of the magical experience of Venice where Max Mara held its resort 2025 show on Tuesday evening.

The brand’s beloved and longstanding creative director Ian Griffiths, always a generous sharer of the prose and poems that inspire his creative pursuits, published Shelley’s quote along with a collection of others from literary greats alike in a perfectly bound little book waiting for each guest as they arrived for the show. After stimulating our senses with the lyrics of legends, he delivered a collection that encapsulated a sartorial epode of his own.

Staged in the porticoes of the Palazzo Ducale under the watchful gaze of St Mark’s Square statues, the collection was inspired by the era of Venice’s famed merchant Marco Polo and an unapologetic ode to opulence in an era of quiet luxury. “Quiet luxury has reached [such] epidemic proportions it’s a total silence, no-one’s saying anything,” said Griffiths before the show. “I’ve always slightly objected to the idea of quiet luxury anyway because I don’t know how quiet it is. How quiet is it to walk into a room wearing head to toe total camel?”

Here, the ante was upped as camel came in swathes of enveloping cashmere, twinkling with sequins and embroidered with brocades. It came in playsuits and shift dresses, cardigans and relaxed tailoring, and embellished bomber jackets that exuded the timelessness so associated with this brand rooted with a very modern – and moreish – relevance. “It’s good to be fashionable, but what happens if you’re not? If you have a product which has relevance, whether or not it’s fashionable, then you’re in a much healthier place,” he said.

The applauds sung out from the crowd, that included guests Alexa Chung and Kate Hudson on the FROW, who rose to cacophonous applause upon the magical finale. It brought to mind another of the quotes Griffiths had shared, this time from the British poet Arthur Symons. “A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him,” wrote Symons. Most certainly if Max Mara has anything to do with it.

Photography courtesy of Max Mara.

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