If you're buying from MaxMara, there's a 95% certainty you're buying a coat - I don't have the sales figures to back that statement up, but it has the conviction of truth. Hence each MaxMara show is less inspiration than perspiration, a case of the design team figuring out new ways to trick out those key pieces of killer outerwear again and again. Spring latched on to a safari vibe to show fitted patch-pocket jackets in shades of sandy beige. For winter, it was militia, the perfect excuse to send out, well, fitted patch-pocket jackets, although these came in grey and black cinched above narrow Edwardian fishtail skirts in raw-edge melton wool. The feel was Russian, hence the sweeping storm-the-Peterhof full-skirted greatcoats in bitter chocolate or black cashmere, buttoned high and falling to mid-calf. Billowing cossack trousers came tucked into knee-high boots, topped off with shoulder-buttoned military shirts in fine wool, and those army jackets were given a full work out, firmed up with epaulettes, wrapped with black leather belts bristling with utility pockets and sometimes elongated into day dresses. They even made cummerbunds look good, neatly topping those full, flowing trousers with a touch of stiffness and strictness on the hip. The daywear at MaxMara is also so consummate, the tailoring so pin-neat, it inevitably leads your focus to the flaws. In this collection, it was taking that Russkie military idea too far - heavy tapestry knits, a surfeit of slightly sleazy, clingy gold lamé and a few too many 'Mata Hari' inspired evening pieces in gold bedazzled black velvet. They may have fitted the theme on paper, but they nevertheless felt out-of-kilter with this cool, calm and collected MaxMara collection.
The daywear at MaxMara is also so consummate, the tailoring so pin-neat, it inevitably leads your focus to the flaws.