Sportmax leads a futuristic baroque dance
Sportmax took spectators into the fourth dimension this season. Unveiled in Milan on Friday, the refined Spring/Summer 2022 collection from Max Mara's youth line combined a futuristic atmosphere with strong echoes of the past. It was a wardrobe made up of bold pieces that spliced together the richness of the baroque and the purity of minimalism.
The first models, dressed in head-to-toe white looks, made their way down the catwalk as though in Limbo, in an immaculate yet soft environment where the silence was only broken by isolated metallic notes. With their deconstructed outfits, their imposing platform sandals with satin ribbons and their ultra-light futuristic glasses, they looked like creatures from outer-space.
Their looks were the result of overlapping impalpable fabrics, such as tulle, satin, gazar and silk georgette, with more robust materials, like cotton, denim and leather, through clever construction that nonetheless gave the impression of having been totally improvised, as though the pieces had been sculpted off the cuff, with the fabric having been cinched, pleated and folded around the models' bodies by an artistic hand.
The legendary artistic duo of avant-garde musician John Cage and American choreographer Merce Cunningham, famous for having revolutionized contemporary dance, was the inspiration behind this collection, where references to dance were omnipresent.
Ribbons, bustiers, leotards, leggings and tulle all put in an appearance, offered up in the delicate palette of the dancer: white, ecru, nude, pale pink. Everything evoked the world of ballet, in particular, the pieces in mesh and jersey. There were also interlaced ribbons, cords and drawstrings which rouched up sleeves or whole garments to add extra dimensions as they intertwined and twisted around asymmetrical, elongated silhouettes.
"We started with the concept of a break. We wanted to break with existing schemas in order to find new ways of constructing something around the body," explained creative director Grazia Malagoli backstage. "The idea was to work with oppositions and contrasts by mixing the hyper-decorative baroque with the simplicity of minimalism, the skintight garments of dancers with more theatrical pieces featuring 3D decorations and effects," she continued.
On the one hand, dresses were draped or ruffled at the sides, sketching out the silhouettes of the basques and panniers of the 18th century. Jackets took on the guise of redingotes or were cinched around the back with lacing or corset fastenings. On the other, fine tulle tunics in nude tones were worn over trousers, leaving the models' bras visible. Everything was light, imperceptible, evanescent.
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