With big names like Ute Lemper and Carolyn Murphy being part of this show, the British-born designer Ian Griffiths not only shares his love for the German capital, but also demonstrates his attraction to historical entertainers. An attraction, that is deeply linked to none other than David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich, who culturally shaped Berlin’s landscape as contemporary icons and now lay the cornerstone for a spectacular Max Mara 2020 Resort collection: "Berlin has been my favorite city since I was a student in Manchester in the 80s. The art of the Bauhaus. The years of David Bowie and his extreme creativity, as well as the charm of a great seductress like Marlene Dietrich deeply inspired me“, explained Griffiths.
Overall his „tribute to Berlin“-collection reflects the city’s history in all his facets. From the visionary architects who transformed the city after the Second World War to the above named entertainers, who enriched the capital with their artsy performances. Griffiths desire to explore this history on an aesthetic level has „always been there“, he mentioned before adding: „ Today Berlin is a reference point for art, architecture and design - Disciplines which are closely linked to the universe of Max Mara.
Choosing the spectacular rooms of the Neues museum, reborn thanks to the restoration work carried out by David Chipperfield, underlines his vision and created the perfect framework for 49 looks that were brutal and primitive in a beautiful way. They portrayed a meeting point between culture and subculture. Showcased under the eyes of a first row led by Angela Bassett and punctuated by international influencers, who enjoyed an exciting soundtrack as the show began and were introduced by the voice of David Bowie describing the disturbing charm of Marlene Dietrich (The two took part in the film „Gigolò“ but never met in person: The film was shot in Paris, where the diva lived, and Berlin, where he performed).
The modern take on honey-colored coats and suits, as well as on the monumental camel colored paletots and a variety of double-breasted coats and blazers, reflects the brand’s DNA in an impressive clean, but progressive way. To tighten the waist, thin masculine belts are made in precious crocodile. On the neck and wrists - jewels that encloses a simple and elegant neoprimitivism. To break the rigor of a daywear, innumerable shades of gray, a sharp deep red and shade of ruby are accented.
Between sinful transparencies, androgynous constructions and fabrics with unfinished edges, a sophisticated and icy elegance is presented. A powerful imagery of modern women who dressed to tell a story. „Not for herself, not for the public nor for men or because it’s fashionable“ as Dietrich once quoted. It’s about dressing to create an image and to tell a story.
To animate the after fashion show, a gala dinner in the heart of the museum with an Italian-style menu, including caviar pizza and lemon ravioli, was served. Including an all a total white setting with tables dressed in immaculate flowers and animated by a fauna of animals, sculpted in refined Meissen porcelain. The latter introduced a collaboration between Max Mara and Meissen, two world-renowned brands, who share mutual manufacturing excellence and completed the vision of portraying Berlin's modernism and Meissen's decorativism. An approach that surely suits the Max Mara 2020 Resort collection, which, summed up, is a combination of the brutally refined provocation of David Bowie and the timeless elegance of Marlene Dietrich, who once said it all: "If the woman is an angel, she can also be devil ... In fact, almost certainly, the devil is a woman".