It has occurred to me more than once this week in Milan that a very good shopping tactic for this winter would simply be to get yourself a fabulous coat and forget about what’s underneath. There are many stylish women who swear by the CBS formula: get a great coat, bag and shoes and what goes underneath can be as basic as you want.
MaxMara is a house that has built a business on coats and this season played to it’s formidable strengths with everything from military swagger to city slickness with chunky elephant cord wraps and nubbly sheepskins in between.
Military precision is a theme that has run through New York and London. To me it looks a little clichéd in day wear (which makes a fine runway statement but looks a little too uniform or Michael Jackson in real life). But a coat is different. The epaulettes, storm flaps, buckles, belts and pocket flaps belong there.
Grey cashmere dropped in a dramatic A line from the shoulders but that volume was tamed by a belt. Double breasted great coats had storm flaps at the neck and glossy riding boots. Short swingy pea coats and drop waisted frock coats. Those chunky elephant cord wrap coats and feminised chesterfields with frilled kick pleats. This show had them all.
By Paula Reed