As a celebrity, you know you’ve made it within the fashion world when you’ve been seated next to Anna Wintour. But at Max Mara, its Stefano Tonchi who is the editor-in-chief supreme. He’s holding court next to Rose Byrne, who is looking pretty flawless with her deep parting and pin straight bob for an early, rainy Thursday morning.
This is turning out to be a big outerwear season, but it’s the graphic puffer coats that have popped up in New York, London and now here that strike me as being the most original. Max Mara has done them in checks, effectively turning the quilted jacket, a piece commonly associated with sweatpants and Uggs into something entirely chic and worth buying. The various tweeds and plaids, inspired by England and Scotland, appear throughout the collection on everything imaginable: a clever full-length faux fur (it isn’t a winter collection without one), a clean-cut blazer and a series of pencil skirts, among others. It would all read a little old and conventional — too Charles and Camilla — if it weren’t for the gold leather and black PVC pieces including a fantastically flamboyant bronze textured skirt and matching gold vest or a slick dominatrix style PVC pencil skirt that mingled throughout. They added contrast that kept the clothes feeling contemporary and new. Meanwhile the slightly random, but completely awesome indie rocker hair and makeup added a sense of the unexpected. Speaking of music: Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters, with all of its intensity ("You’re a swing and I’m saying that’s an insult to the pig in the foul furrow that you dig") obliterated any remaining risk of the show being a bore.
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The Duchess of Cornwall meets Karen O
The major trends
Hybrid coats, contrasting textures, graphic puffer coats
‘The Juliet Letters,’ by Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet
What this will mean for your wardrobe
A new way to wear all those preppy checks in a way that doesn’t look conservative.