For the fashion label, a strong message is best delivered in style
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
“It’s very powerful to be in a room with women like this,” actor Elizabeth Debicki says of those assembled by Max Mara at the Chateau Marmont on the eve of Women in Film’s annual gala, a star-studded summer soiree at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate women who are positively changing the entertainment industry.
“Elizabeth Debicki is not scared of being herself”
Maria Giulia Maramotti
The 29-year-old — who is this year’s recipient of the Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award — selected a suffragette-white pantsuit from the Italian fashion house that seemed to speak to her support of the nonprofit’s ongoing push for gender equality. The Italian fashion house also recently made headlines with a vibrant outerwear archival piece — aptly named the Fire Coat — that Nancy Pelosi donned for a particularly consequential Oval Office visit. Clearly, influential figures are partial to the brand when delivering critical messages.
Debicki, known for onscreen portrayals of such unapologetic trailblazers as Jordan Baker (The Great Gatsby) and soon Virginia Woolf (this fall’s Vita & Virginia), is intimately familiar with the power of fashion. It was her aforementioned turn in Gatsby, and her collaboration with the film’s Academy Award-winning costume designer Catherine Martin, that she cites as helping her to feel fully confident in her 6-foot-plus frame. Offscreen, Debicki supports Women in Film’s drive for pay parity and joined the cast and crew from Vita & Virginia for a viral group photo in support of the campaign to repeal Ireland’s eighth amendment, which opposes abortion under nearly all circumstances.
Max Mara has a history of creating polished pieces for strong women. Gallerist Holly Solomon, the late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, and former French Vogue editor and stylist Carine Roitfeld have all donated favored designs to the label’s archive. Maria Giulia Maramotti, granddaughter of the house’s founder, confirms the label’s history of creating ready-to-wear fit for a fight. In Debicki, she sees a woman who “is not scared of being herself.”
It comes as no surprise that the house’s latest collection is awash in boss tailoring, including sharply cut coats with strong shoulders. Creative director Ian Griffiths is also reissuing the 2011 design Pelosi plucked from her closet. Maramotti says, “[The brand] is about women feeling good in what they are wearing, finding strength and using their clothing to send a message.” For Griffiths, Debicki personifies the spirit of the fall collection. “She has the quiet assurance of someone who knows that when she speaks, she’s going to be heard.”
Feature image: Actor ELIZABETH DEBICKI wearing MAX MARA.
This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of C Magazine.
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