French Feminist And Literary Icon Colette Inspires Max Mara FW24

Emma Hodgson   |   22-02-2024

For the new FW24 season, Max Mara was inspired by the French literary icon Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.

The early 20th-century writer, who was known for being a non-conformist and a Feminist is widely recognised alongside Marcel Proust as one of the greatest French writers of the century.

Describing Colette in the show notes which accompanied the collection, the house explained the connection as “Modern, spare, yet deeply evocative; Max Mara is to design what Colette is to literature.”

“She was sophisticated, intelligent, and… liberated: inspired by the multi-talented writer, journalist, screenwriter, sometime beautician and audacious music hall performer, Max Mara’s consummate woman-in-control acquires a dash of Belle Epoque elegance, with a hint of demi-mondaine glamour and a glimpse of the sensual woman within,” the house continued.

Blacks, greys, navy blues and tan colourways, play throughout the collection along with the Japanese-influenced ovoid silhouette of the 1910s, which inspires coats with intriguing new constructions, sometimes with kimono sleeves, sometimes blousing at the back like a bomber jacket.

Collette was known for her boundary-pushing dress choices, often wearing masculine silhouettes. Classic structures in the new collection include authoritative officer coats and a clutch of the power jackets for which Max Mara is renowned.

Elsewhere, there are Peignoirs and pyjamas along with camisoles, teddies and slipdresses.

Within Colette’s work, she describes her characters’ assiduous toilettes in detail; the outfit chosen to flatter, the cool compress, the touch of powder, the dab of lipstick, polish and pomade, those myriad tiny touches that produce magic. 

Who is the intended beneficiary of this careful attention to one’s appearance? Colette provides the answer, “Beautiful? For whom? Why, for myself, of course.” and Max Mara’s Fw24 collection certainly agrees.