MaxMara mixes summer trends

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The Independent Online
EITHER SOMEONE at MaxMara has a sixth sense, or its design team has far-reaching antennae, because the spring/ summer 2000 show in Milan yesterday included just about every main trend - from sharp jeanswear in blue or cappuccino to chiffon cut into peasant blouses with pintucked sleeves.

There was also a large dose of Yves Saint Laurent-inspired one-shoulder tops and khaki cotton safari suits with the master's inimitable offbeat colour sense of purple, emerald and putty.

MaxMara's success is in dissecting the season's key looks and translating them into accessible clothes, while never losing sight of the label's own identity. Although it rarely breaks new ground - the remit has never been to push out the frontiers of style - its shops continue to be a favourite haunt for anyone interested in, rather than besotted by, fashion.

On a different note altogether, the Anna Molinari show, entitled "Lou Lou goes on Vacanza", opened with a model dressed as Pierrot in a brightly spotted chiffon ensemble with giant puffed sleeves.

Lou Lou's vacanza appeared to be taking place in St Tropez, where bubble- gum pink sequins, babydoll blousons and garish prints on satin palazzo suits might easily turn heads in appreciation, if not rounds of applause. However, wear this sort of camp get-up on a drizzling summer afternoon and heads will undoubtedly swivel - for all the wrong reasons.

Peel off the frou-frou ruffles, gold lace and cotton pieces encrusted with diamante and what was left for women who do not go by the name of Lou Lou and walk miniature poodles called Fifi? Crisp white linen suits, sleeveless polo-neck tops and white bikinis - only for the very brave - bearing the words "I Love You!".