Max Mara shares a Baudelairean view of the city; its landscape a living breathing entity, its mood swings restless, fleeting, transient, often unpredictable. But when the summer sun strikes, things are pretty certain to take a sybaritic turn. The smarter cosmopolites seek out discreetly luxurious oases, shady patios and hidden gardens. Business and pleasure blur, with the promise of al fresco breakfast pow wows, sun-dappled working lunches, garden parties and well earned crepuscolar cocktails.
The settings for those happy rendez-vous are staged by a nouvelle vague of philosophers-cum-gardeners. ‘Work with, not against nature’ urges Gilles Clément. So, out with the overblown peonies, the exigent roses and vexatious lilies, in with the spriggy meadow flowers, happy-go-lucky poppies alliums and cardooms. He allows them to grow in unruly drifts -a neat foil to the sunbaked sidewalks and concrete canyons of the cityscape.