Sportmax Resort 2023 Collection | Vogue

Sportmax’s efforts to become a cooler version of itself continued for resort, with the design studio exploring contrasts between Victoriana and psychedelia. Reference-clashing is apparently how creatives at the label now operate, pursuing a sort of out-of-the-comfort-zone challenge. Adding a further layer to the narrative, PJ Harvey was given the status of the season’s muse.

Austerity versus sensory overload was the dynamic this lineup revolved around. If activated in a believable cutting-edge way, it could’ve offered a rather radical visual translation. But the label’s status as the solid, industrial Max Mara’s little sister line smoothed the clash, steering the collection towards a milder interpretation. Victorian elements like puffy sleeves, corseted-like waistlines, ruffled collars, and full multi-layered skirts were added to otherwise clean-cut pieces—think a broad-shouldered, cinched-waisted black leather dress with leg-of-mutton extra-long sleeves; or an hourglass-shaped coat/dress in striped denim with strong jutting shoulders, worn with matching trailing pants. A series of high-collared, oversized poplin shirts with miles-long sleeves, as well as a tight-fitted dress in turquoise lycra with a ruffled bavolet also hinted at the Victorian theme.

On the lysergic side, bright undulating jacquard motifs were rendered on a slender knitted two-piece tunic, or on a sleeveless midi dress with a fluted skirt. Yet, as is often the case with Sportmax, the finest part of the collection was the tailoring, which didn’t need any historical reference to make an impact. An attractive example was an elegant black straight-cut duchesse coat, sans lapels, which was coolly lined with a detachable raw-hemmed gilet in lab-white canvas. On the same note, the round shoulders of a generously cut beige trench showed the technical ingenuity that is one of the label’s best assets.

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