‘Years are only garments, and you either wear them with style all your life, or else you go dowdy to the grave.’ Poet, critic, screenwriter, savage wit and leading light of the Vicious Circle, Dorothy Parker personified a new metropolitan attitude -acerbic, sophisticated, provocative, glamorous.
Parker’s spirit endures. The queens of punk and post punk, Siouxsie Sue and Lydia Lunch show more than a streak of that contentious intellect and crepuscular allure. Lydia Lunch was carrying on the Parker line when she wisecracked ‘I’m completely optimistic-I know the end is coming’.
Iconic coats from the Max Mara hall of fame are presented in the darkly romantic tradition of Parker and the punk age heroines who followed her. Fishnet tops, biker jackets, sleek studded belts and pencil skirts with pleated silk slips fluttering from the hem lend an edgy new elegance.
Just One of Those Things’, the classic Cole Porter song that namechecks Dorothy has been covered by dozens of artists -each reveals a new layer of meaning. Max Mara’s seminal 101801 coat-unchanged since 1981- has been the subject of as many reinterpretations. For prefall it shows a side which will resonate with a new generation -in voluptuous tawny beaver and in an ornately hand embroidered limited edition.
The Algonquin, 21 Club, The St. Regis, Polly Adler’s; Parker’s New York haunts inspire the collection’s patterns and prints.
Graphic stripes, checkerboard intarsias recall smart Moderne watering holes.
The opulent greens and burgundies of neobaroque tapestry designs evoke the faded grandeur of an earlier age.
“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves” Parker exhorted. Max Mara’s lustrous cashmeres, supple calfskins, plush shearlings and fluid silks in casha, black and cinnamon tempt you to blow this month’s salary -Dorothy style.