A fashion designer accustomed to turning to famous women in the world of culture and science, Ian Griffiths made an unexpected turn in the pre-autumn 2024 collection - he sought inspiration from male artists. His starting point was Alexander Calder's work "The Circus", exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The mini-sculptural composition guided him towards a “simple, optimistic and easy-to-understand message” to create a collection with unexpected twists.
Calder's depiction of the 1920s circus, with its tiny figures and props made of metal, wood and fabric, inspired the fashion designer to develop various characters in the product line. He also drew parallels between Calder's kinetic art and the urban style of the Max Mara woman.
His collection contains chopped proportions, elongated, lightweight silhouettes and provocative prints: animalistic, large polka dots and contrasting stripes. The dresses combine loose, rounded tops with tight, short skirts, with the exception of a single ankle-length model in a spotted color scheme.
Polka dots also appeared on thigh-high twill shorts and on a sarong-like miniskirt, which was paired with a shirt cut like a men's blazer. The suits are graphic and come in a variety of variations, from a white jacket with padded shoulders to a black, double-breasted blazer with rounded sleeves. According to Griffiths, the models should evoke the clothes of the ringmaster, but they also look more modest and sophisticated.
The designer added fun by playing with ruffles and exaggerated volume on the sleeves in a series of striped sweaters, poplin shirtdresses and knits. The highlight was undoubtedly the outerwear. There are soft trenches and classic Max Mara coats in new fabrics, including mesh technical jersey. Griffiths made the right choice, recalling the brand's authority in the mid-season clothing category.