#SuzyMFW: Breathing Clean Air At Tod's And Max Mara

Tod's: Re-Wrapped

A line up of figures, model Naomi Campbell sitting centre front, stood parcelled in leather and roped with thick strings. The set-cum-installation, by artist Thomas De Falco, created a frisson of excitement at the entrance to the Tod's show.

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But that was the only drama – unless you count the photographers' excitement over the arrival of Chinese stars Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei; and the evident emotion for the group of five in-house designers at the end of the show.

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

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Diego Della Valle, the President and CEO of Tod's has made an executive decision to develop a team spirit, not a star designer. And to encourage the co-operative to do what makes sense: start the vision for the giant accessories company from the feet up and make outerwear the focus of the clothing.

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

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Open Air was the well-chosen title for autumn/winter 2017. And that meant a winter where walking moved beyond city streets. The focus of the show was craft, such as the repeated narrow strips cut out and twisted down the front of soft brown leather shirtdresses. For the shoes, moccasins had rubber soles and high heels meant lace-up boots.

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This was a show that invited zooming in on a big, flat bag with a padded front to match the outfit's sleeves, or on the hefty loafer softened with fur. The focus for adornment of bags and belts was on a sleek metallic double ‘T’ – a reworking of the Tod's logo. The zippered leather jackets suggested fashion that meant business. But the show was a reminder that in the case of Tod's that means shoe business.

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

Tod's Autumn/Winter 2017

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Max Mara: Mid-Century Sweden

Max Mara's confidence with coats is legendary. But this season the show, marked out in just four base colours: red, camel, grey and black, seemed to have a particular crispness in spirit as well as design. Put that down to the Swedish winter air.

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

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The band of designers behind the brand had focused not on some unlikely reference such as Marilyn Monroe, who was the theme a few season's back. Instead, they chose the entire world of mid-century Modernism which not only made sense – it was also at the core of a beautifully developed collection.

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

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‘More Nordic than Latin’ was the explanation for this collection, although the foggy chill in the hazy Milanese air suggested that a big, bold coat is much needed in Northern Italy too.

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

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The show opened with a bright red coat, in furry fabric and worn with a sweater and velvet pants, setting the key note of lush simplicity. The tactile quality of the fabrics balanced the severity of the line, so a furry mid-calf coat fell straight down over an all-in-one camel bodysuit. The velvet trousers, appearing repeatedly in the colour of whisky, added to the visual warmth. But even in shades of grey – from shearling and textured knit coats to a pin-striped coat and trousers – there was a sense that Max Mara had found a chic route to winter warmth in a cold climate.

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

Max Mara Autumn/Winter 2017

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