Max Mara Rewrites the Rules of Power Dressing for Fall/Winter 2019

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Paradoxically, 2019 is both a very good and very bad time to be a woman.

The voices of powerful figures – like Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Kamala Harris – are resounding throughout the political sphere, despite concerted, oppositional efforts to shout them down. Change is rippling through society, and so is a violent backlash. For every action, an equal opposite.

At Max Mara for Fall/Winter 2019, power dressing was the message, offering a body of work so compelling that wearing a look from the collection might singlehandedly earn you a seat at the table. “I’m not here to compromise,” the look says. Massive, enveloping silhouettes, strong shoulders, and sumptuous fabrics in shades of cream, caramel, teal, royal blue, citron, and jet black worked in tandem to produce looks that were both beautiful and confident. There are plenty of clothes out there for girls; this one is for women.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

The looks moved down the runway in heavy layers. At first, a fuzzy cardigan topped blazers, turtlenecks, skirts, leggings and boots – all in colors that matched exactly. Then, the outer layer was swapped for Max Mara’s classic teddy coat, and a rich variety of elegant long coats, ponchos, and jackets. About midway, a variety of cool hardware was introduced, giving the looks a utilitarian edge. They came slung around the neck like saddlebags or sprouting from leather vests. Pouchy pockets in sets of four decorated some looks; leather trim, others. Animal prints, furs, tweed, and reptile skins arrived to break up the parade of minimalism, and enhanced the luxury feel of the presentation.

The clothes were strong, but the women wearing them, stronger.

While the concept of power dressing is nothing new for fashion, Max Mara’s show added a very important prefix to the idea: empowered dressing. The clothes were strong, but the women wearing them, stronger. In an age where women are being simultaneously uplifted and repressed, a wardrobe like this breaks the barrier. Stop questioning our worth, and start writing our cheques.

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