Max Mara's New Collection Pays Homage to Modernist Magic

Max Mara pays homage to a creative polymath whose oeuvre was overlooked for decades and is now rediscovered. Architect, dancer, textile designer, painter and sculptor, Sophie Taeuber-Arp was that rare thing; a modernist who invested even the most everyday objects with a sense of magic and mystery.

At Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Taeuber-Arp and fellow artists of the avant-garde including Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst and Guillaume Apollinaire met nightly. Their performances, publications, recitals and readings played out an astonishing new aesthetic: Dada.

Bella Hadid for Max Mara

Taeuber-Arp's hastily improvised costumes and the marionettes she designed for her most famous work, `King Stag´ radiate joyful energy, kinetic spirit and theatrical panache. They are fully formed fairytale characters with a charm that lies somewhere between the robotic and the animal.

Max Mara's strong and surprising silhouettes are articulated with equal aplomb. In all the hues of a Taeuber-Arp tapestry, the collection explores playful contrasts of mini and maxi, micro and macro, skinny and outsize.

Part boot, part legging, Max Mara's cr̻pe-soled knitted cuissards feature anatomically placed quilting. Mohair sweaters feature similarly articulated sleeves. Paired with a quilted nylon micro-skirt, those boots express a new dynamic. If not thigh high, skirts are regal, bell shaped and full length Рperfect with a skinny turtleneck and a balaclava.

The volume is turned up on trousers too; in winter white with the widest legs ever, they appear in tailored cavalry twill and jersey-backed techno-nylon. Closer inspection of those marionettes reveals how Sophie Taeuber-Arp elevates prosaic hardware to poetic heights.

Max Mara chooses a pale matte gold zipper as its talisman. Zippered pockets and side splits pop up in unexpected places, and when a tailored jacket or a mannish `cappottino', get a double zip fastening, they assume a distinctly Dada dimension.

Of course, Max Mara's coats take centre stage, perfect in form, function and finish, fit for a fairytale queen – or king. Long or short, they underline the collection's new slouch and swagger. The stuff of dreams, Teddy Bear fabric gets a fresh look too. We know it works very well in a coat, but who knew that it works in a tunic, a floor-sweeping skirt, even an audacious pair of shorts?

It gets cold, very cold in Taeuber-Arp's alpine homeland. Max Mara brings on oversized puffas – layer one over your Teddy Bear for maximum effect. And the wadding is upcycled; it derives from the otherwise waste material from the production of the Teddy Bear Coats.

Max Mara spins a yarn with a series of chunky knits featuring striking motifs blown up and abstracted. It all adds up to a collection that fully honours Max Mara's promise of sleek modern dressing, with a dash of Cabaret Voltaire's whirlwind creativity and a sprinkle of magic dust.

Max Mara, founded in 1951 by the late visionary Achille Maramotti, epitomises Italian luxury and style. A modern collection of ready-to-wear and accessories for the confident woman, Max Mara is the premier offering within the Max Mara Fashion group consisting of sophisticated silhouettes and couture details achieved through masterful design. Recognized for its timeless sensibility and constructed from the most luxurious fabrics, Max Mara is revered for the classification of the coat, sharp suiting and elegant accessories. Max Mara is available in 2.500 locations in more than 100 countries worldwide. The Max Mara Fashion group counts 9 different brands under its ownership. The company remains privately held.

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