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Max Mara Resort 2023 Collection

For Resort 2023 Max Mara is presenting its collection in Lisbon, the dynamic and cosmopolitan Portuguese capital that combines different cultures and trends and that, for centuries, has inspired art, literature and ideas.

The brutalist concrete architecture and lush green gardens of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation provided the location for the show. Max Mara has been proud to support the renovations of the Collection’s 18th century French art galleries. 

Among the Gulbenkian Foundation’s treasured 20th century works, the painting by Nikias Skapinakis of the poet Natalia Correia has provided rich inspiration for Max Mara Resort 2023.

It is the starting point for a collection which revives the spirit of this remarkable woman and celebrates her contribution to Portuguese artistic, cultural and political life in the eventful mid-twentieth century. Just as Max Mara has formulated its own brand of feminism, so did Correia. Counter to the politically correct format of the movement, she argued for sensuality and passionate femininity. 

Correia’s ‘Antologia de Poesia Portuguesa Erotica e Satirica’ was considered outré by the authorities against whom she campaigned; to Max Mara it suggest a more voluptuous, curvier silhouette with an occasional nod to the gathered skirts of traditional dress. Max Mara presents below-the-knee sexy, sultry sheaths that are perfect for parties, like the highbrow soirees at which Correia was photographed. And of course for almost every gown, there will be a trademark coat to wear it with.

Correia enjoyed a place right at the heart of Lisbon society. Back to the Skapinaki’s picture; the women depicted at Correia’s feet are felow novelist and poet Fernanda Botelho and renowned classical pianist Maria Joao Pires. Correia’s home, and the watering hole she herself founded, Bar Botequim, were a stage for international friends such as Henry Miller, Graham Greene and Eugene Ionesco, and Portuguese legends such as Amalia Rodrigues the queen of fado. On stage photographs reveal Amalia’s penchant for plisse. Crunchy degrade pleated silk taffeta is the perfect medium for a dramatic gesture that goes from day to night; weather its a floor sweeping bustier or a corona bursting from beneath the hem of a pencil skirt. 

Lencos de namorados do Minho, are another Portuguese romantic tradition, especially of the Minho region, symbol of a conquest ritual: the ‘handkerchiefs of love’ represent the most genuine poetic and artistic form used by girls of marriageable age who embroidered a square of linen or of cotton, with messages and symbols of love, to win heart of their beloved. Lenco de namorados do Minho is a handcrafted product certified by Adere Certifica with a Registered Trademark and a Geographical Indication belonging to Adere-Minho. 

Hearts, flowers and doves rendered in the sophisticated naif style of the Lencos de namorados figure in Max Mara’s prints and dressy crystal brooches. Working with local artisans, Max Mara has created T-shirts inspired by the motifs of the traditional Lencos de namorados do Minho carrying Max Mara own lines of love, which, in accordance with custom begins with a heartfelt entreaty for the missive to reach the object of the sender’s affections. Resort 2023 will deliver Max Mara’s message of passion, and power: ‘Vai lenco feliz’. 

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