Figure 11.6. Four versions of 'Base 11', drawn by Gianni lotti for MaxMara in 1962. Source: MaxMara archive, Reggio Emilia, photographic records. Courtesy of MaxMara SRL.
11.6, four versions of "Base 11", drawn by Gianni Iotti for MaxMara in 1962.55 Although this process was already the norm in the UK and the US, it was new in Italian ready-to-wear. In the early days at least, MaxMara's competitors were operating at a lower price level, and it would not have been financially viable for them to go to Paris. Analysis of contemporary media indicates that the rest took inspiration from the international and domestic fashion press as they reported the Paris collections. There is therefore no evidence that Italian ready-to-wear companies were following the Italian catwalks in the 1950s and early 1960s.
This chapter has stressed that there was an internationally recognized Italian stylistic identity at couture, boutique and ready-to-wear levels by 1965. Initially, foreign buyers were attracted to Italian fashion for the combination of French-led style and low prices at couture level. They were pleased with the high quality of Italian couture, particularly its fabrics, and the hand-sewn decoration, which was highly sophisticated. Increasingly, simple lines and effective use of colour were also noted. Although the buyers came at
55. MaxMara archive, Reggio Emilia.
56. Breward, Christopher, The Culture of Fashion, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995, pp. 226-7.
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