blog banner

Coats! Korea

Max Mara Heritage

Coats! A journey into Max Mara Heritage

Starting November 28th through December 19th 2017, a new edition of Coats! the exhibition dedicated to over 60 years of history of Max Mara, will open in Seoul, Korea, in the futuristic and multi-functional DDP (Dongadaemum Design Plaza) designed by Zaha Hadid.

After Moscow (2011), Beijing (2009), Tokyo (2007) and Berlin (2006), Coats! is designed once again by Studio Migliore+Servetto Architetti Associati. The exhibition will be shown inside a monumental dome inspired by the utopian architecture of Étienne-Louis Boullée. It will present a completely new overview of the Max Mara Heritage. This journey plunges visitors right into the heart of the history of the coat and of the brand, winding its way through seven themed rooms: a series of modern-day wunderkammer, packed with garments, sounds, memorabilia and interactive features representing the vision that moved Max Mara’s founder, Achille Maramotti: “to make the ordinary extraordinary”. The intuition that inspired him to turn the masculine coat into an icon of the womenswear wardrobe is one of the most visionary adventures of the Italian clothing industry. The exhibition starts from the dream of the perfect coat.

Coats! opens with the site-specific digital installation by the Korean artist Yiyun Kang, curated by renowned Daehyung Lee. It will explore the space of the dome, turning features of the production process and images from the Max Mara’s historical archive into patterns; a bright, living material that will give a distinctive visual slant to the exhibition’s piazza, a route through seven rooms of the Max Mara world. The rooms can be visited either in chronological order or according to theme, following the emotions, music, shifts in atmospheres, scenarios and colours that mark the move from one decade to the next.

Each room opens with a set, a sort of theatrical representation, suspended between imagination and reality, which metaphorically places the focus on a specific theme of Max Mara’s history:

  • The founder. Achille Maramotti and the dream of the coat (‘50s)
  • Creative study. The democratic coat, designers and pop (‘60s)
  • Colorama. The coat in technicolor and the art of experimentation (‘70s)
  • The icon. The magic of the coat and Italian know how (‘80s)
  • The set. The representation of the coat and the perfect image (‘90s)
  • The Max Mara women. The journey of the coat and the female universe (2000)
  • The fashion show. Runway glamour and new projects (last decade of 2000)

Over ninety coats are on show in the exhibition, starting from the first ones from the 50s to the more recent ones that walked the Milan runway, and of course the iconic 101801 style. Beginning from the early days of dressmaking and its evolution into fashion, the coats show the changes in taste, society and lifestyles that have marked each decade, together with sketches by the designers who have worked with Max Mara (Anne Marie Beretta, Emmanuelle Khanh, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Charles de CastelBajac, Narciso Rodriguez, Giambattista Valli and Proenza Schouler). The exhibition features historical magazines, raw materials, advertising campaigns shot by legendary fashion photographers (Richard Avedon, Arthur Elgort, Steven Meisel, Sarah Moon, Max Vadukul, Mario Sorrenti, David Sims and Craig McDean); celebrities portraits and everyday objects (sewing machines, measuring tapes, scissors etc) and artworks that are the fruit of the dialogue between contemporary artists and the founder, avid art collector. This continues today with the Collezione Maramotti.

Featuring fascinating items belonging to the historical archive of the Group the exhibition offers a reconstruction of the varieties of stories and inventions behind the know how of Max Mara illustrating the evolution of the product and the design culture underlying each garment. Coats! reveals how the family business, by engaging with the local area, Reggio Emilia, and with the world, has been able to interpret the desires of women since 1951 right up to today.