Max Mara serves Modernist Magic in its Latest Collection

Ahhhh! I am loving the silhouettes of Max Mara. Designer and brand extraordaire have always been androgynous when it comes to style and it came to more prevalent this season.

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. 

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 crêpe-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 – perfect 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.

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