Friday 25th September

| BY Scarlett Conlon

Sportmax: Ready-to-Wear SS21

It may have been bucketing down this morning in Milano, yet Sportmax brought the sensuality to the schedule. Where other brands this week have dug into the troves of Italian tradition, fashion director Grazia Malagoli turned to the American poet and essayist Walt Whitman for inspiration. “This is the female form, A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot, It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,” read a quote extracted from his famous free verse on the show notes, accompanying a collection which emanated a tender toughness.

Skin-tight, twisted, asymmetric tailoring with skinny split hem trousers skimmed the body and fine transparent knitwear was layered like a chrysalis to barely-there effect, while parachute silk, Aran wool and light-as-air fabrics kept directional cuts feminine. To counter delicacy came sculpted leather dresses, hologram trousers and striking silver bangles that gripped models by the arm. Chunky patent boots with thick soles and thong stilettos emboldened each look, while tie-dye prints in black and acid green pierced the predominantly neutral palette complementing other block blue, chartreuse and fluorescent accents.

The collection was largely influenced by the German actress Romy Schneider and her character Marianne Jacques Deray’s 1969 cult classic La Piscine, read the notes and it was easy to see the magnetism of Marianne manifested here in clothes that were at once fragile and fierce.

Photography courtesy of Sportmax.