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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Max Mara: Beyond the Camel Coat?

MaxMara and Kiton engage with the reality of high-powered women

11 Марта 2016

Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

“Kinetic Energy” was the title that MaxMara gave to its collection, which cited Dada, Constructivism and Modernism as favourite inspirations for this fashion season. But how arty can you make one of MaxMara’s camel coats, in the finest Italian cloth, tailored to perfection? And why would you need to fancy up the basic? This company had been designing for women in the real world since the 1950s.

Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

I would go do far as to say that it has been an accomplice and a supporter in the liberation of women. The coats – big, bold, and, for A/W 2016 with horizontal stripes that were key to the season – came in strong primary colours: red, blue, and yellow. The display was confident, graphic, and honest. Women need efficient tailoring far more than the visions of Marilyn Monroe that were presented last season. But to give the collection a modern spin, silvered surfaces, especially the gleam of dull pewter, added a layer of modern chic. I imagine that MaxMara feels the pressure from all the feather-filled puffa jackets on the streets of the Western world. With such precise, but free-ranging cloth coats, they deserve to conquer the fashion universe.

Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Max Mara, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Kiton: Tailor-made for Luxury 

Kiton’s Neapolitan history as a master tailor is in need of a wife. The company, which uses the finest wools for high-end clients, has just made a step towards its goal: Melinda Gates, wife of entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates, appeared on the cover of Forbes in a Kiton jacket. I have visited the workrooms in Naples and watched the hands of the master tailors.

Kiton, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Kiton, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

But this is the first season of a presentation in Milan when it seems that womenswear is gaining strength. Showing in rooms that represent the spirit of Kiton’s Neopolitan base, models created tableaux vivants to display the crispness of a daffodil yellow jacket or the softness of silken pyjamas. My eye was caught by a cashmere cape, which seemed to have the right quality, confidence and cut to seduce female partners – in business or romance – Bill Gates’ or otherwise.

Kiton, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Kiton, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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