Max Mara SS2017 Tropical Moderne Collection is creative, radical, passionate; a woman with a vision years ahead of her time. Architect, designer and intellectual Lina Bo Bardi embodies Latin America’s compelling take on modernism; at once rational and sensual, sleek and luxuriant, athletic and sultry, hi-tech and artisanal.
Bo Bardi was connected to Tropicalia, the avant-garde cultural movement whose touchstone was the ultimate exoticicon, Carmen Miranda.
The eponymous 1968 album “Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis” by a group of artists including Bardi’s friends, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Gal Costa, was a landmark musical manifesto and makes for a soundtrack that swings to Max Mara’s chica boom beat.
Design is often said to be about pulling order out of chaos but Bo Bardi wasn’t all scared of letting chaos in. Her quasi-brutalist concrete and plate glass structures would be incomplete without the rainforest that grows around (and through them).
The profuse flora and fauna that she adored inspire lush prints, sliced into patchworks that echo the precise geometry of her architecture. Torn layers of propaganda posters echo the tumult of design, culture and politics into which Bo Bardi threw herself.
Bo Bardi created some mouth watering design classics. The ‘Bola de Latao’ chairs she installed in her home, ‘Casa de Vidro’, look as good today as they did in 1951, in well worn tan leather, with restrained saddle stitching - which appears too on luxe suedes, double faces and the new BoBag. Like Max Mara, Bo Bardi loved those traditional leather crafts, but she embraced new technology too.
Max Mara borrows high performance jerseys and nylons from the sports arena for glamorous bodycon dresses, bodies and combinaisons with heat sealed construction. A structured mesh gives a hi-tech makeover to Max Mara’s own design icon, the 101801. Shiny new Lina sunglasses and Bardi-esque wooden soled techno-clogs complete the look.
For modern women with big ideas, Max Mara SS2017 proposes a new blend of voluptuous modernity; intelligent, audacious, sexy fashion with a lifespan as long as those Bo Bardi designs.