On the Max Mara creative director Ian Griffith’s mood board for Spring/Summer 2022, there were “Bonjour Tristesse”, the 1954 novel by Françoise Sagan, and stills from the 1958 Otto Preminger movie based on it in which Jean Seberg sports chambray with her swimwear.
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Griffiths chose the story for the way its main character travels in her mind – Françoise Quoirez, a wild teenager, having failed her baccalauréat at age 17, was forced to forego the annual family summer vacation in order to stay home and study. While she was being deprived of those lazy, relaxing months at the beach, she decided to go there with her imagination – which is something we all did during the lockdowns.
It was Sagan’s style – which Griffiths dubbed “beatnik chic”, a rebellion against bourgeois dressing – that Griffiths wished to emulate for the new season. “She refused to conform to the norms of dress or behavior”, he said.
The 46-look collection was classic Max Mara, with a summery twist. Simply put, it was a stunning array of luxurious basics and classic silhouettes in a neutral color palette, but with a few pops of color and novel, youthful fabrics. Griffiths also stirred rebellious elements to it while the vaguely ’60s silhouettes and utility details gave the collection a youthful edge that was blunted somewhat by the sturdy fabrics and often drab colors. The use of the traditionally youthful and casual material as denim in such clean designs evoked a dual sense of teenage rebellion and classic sophistication.
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