Milan:  If the bare, pallid faces, slicked-back hairdos and clean, spare clothes weren’t enough of a giveaway, minimalism was clearly in the air at MaxMara. The long-established fashion house has a reputation for serving up big trends for the (well-to-do) masses, and accordingly, the spring collection read like a procession of fashion hits from the past few seasons. There were belted cable-knit sweaters in the vein of Prada, skin-tight tees paired with sheer palazzo pants à la Celine, and rash guard-like raglans vaguely reminiscent of Proenza Schouler. All were well done and fit in with the sophisticated yet easy aesthetic of the brand, however, the collection worked best when sticking to the classics. Breton-striped dresses looked fresh and effortless with buttons running up the back, and even the iconic trench coat was successfully “minimalized” with completely square style lines and collars cinched into funnel necks. Sporty touches and radiant pops of magenta, buttercup yellow and persimmon gave the stark designs a more approachable, warmer quality. Less effective were attempts to inject a bit of sex appeal into the collection via sweeping back cutouts on tees and even blazers, which went against both the thread of wearability that runs through MaxMara and the less-is-more philosophy of minimalism.

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