Weekend Max Mara 24 by Kate Phelan
Acclaimed British editor and stylist, Kate Phelan is the creative mind of the new Weekend Max Mara Signature Collection called 24, debuting for FW 2023-24.
A longstanding contributing editor to British Vogue with a wide-spanning eye and experience in fashion, and the former creative director of Topshop, Phelan kept the collection rooted in daywear to highlight Weekend Max Mara’s key values: great outerwear, strong tailoring, luxury knits, and versatile separates – rendered with an effortlessly “cool” hand that highlights an undercurrent of London legacy and Brit character. “I wanted the collection to reflect my style and the clothes I love to wear, capturing the enduring appeal of classics and well-made pieces. Style is about quality clothes that offer day-into-night versatility, to wear on repeat and keep forever,” says Phelan.
True to her love of modern timelessness, Phelan sought to create a collection that would still be relevant in 10 years, inspired by a story in Vogue from 1982 that after decades still channels an au courant gender fluidity in the looks, models, and photography.
Her starting point was a coat, a house specialty that straddles both masculine and feminine tendencies. Oversized and crafted in a classic Donegal tweed, it is a perfect mix of heritage and classic, luxury and longevity. Overall, the collection captures Phelan’s love for boy-meets-girls layering and styling. “I have always loved the proportions of men’s clothes on women,” she contends. “I find that masculine silhouettes look great over a slim skirt or over a sensual slip dress.”
The key pieces comprise a flares trouser suit, a tweed mid-calf pencil skirt, a slip dress, a crisp white cotton shirt and wool knits, topped by handsome outerwear – a hand-sewn double-face wool robe coat, a Donegal tweed Crombie and a timeless parka with Mod beat. The mix of fabrics – Donegal tweed, wool and cotton over modern tech fabrications – plays into the tradition-meets-innovation feel.
Jazzing up a solid palette of winter white, black, grays and earthy tones are vivacious color-block prints inspired by the bold graphics of Face magazine, a glossy from the Eighties known for its trailblazing mix of fashion, music, and style. Flat lace-ups and sneakers add an easy and wearable twist to all the looks.
The overall campaign, shot by photographer Bibi Borthwick on model Edie Campbell, aims to build a strong message through women and fashion, in a portraiture of a timelessness and ultimate modernity that transcends trends.