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Creative, radical, passionate; a woman  with a vision years ahead of her time. Architect, designer and intellectual Lina Bo Bardi embodies Latin America’s compelling take on modernism; at once rational and sensual, sleek and luxuriant, athletic and sultry, hi-tech and artisanal.

Bo Bardi was connected to Tropicalia, the avant-garde cultural movement whose touchstone was the ultimate exotic icon, Carmen  Miranda. The eponymous 1968 album “Tropicália: ou Panis et Circensis” by a group  of artists including Bardi’s friends, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and  Gal Costa, was a landmark musical manifesto and  makes for a soundtrack  that swings to Max Mara’s chica  boom  beat.

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Design is often said to be about  pulling order out of chaos but Bo Bardi wasn’t all scared of letting chaos in. Her qua- si-brutalist concrete and  plate glass structures would be incomplete without the rainforest that grows around (and through them). The profuse flora and fauna  that she adored inspire lush prints, sliced into patchworks that echo  the precise geometry of her architecture. Torn layers of propaganda posters echo the tumult of design, culture and poli- tics into which Bo Bardi threw herself.

Bo Bardi created some mouth watering design classics. The ‘Bola de Latao’ chairs she installed in her home, ‘Casa de Vidro’, look as good  today as they did in 1951, in well worn tan leather, with restrained saddle stitching – which appears too on luxe suedes, double  faces and the new BoBag.

Like Max Mara, Bo Bardi loved those traditional leather crafts, but she embraced new technology too. Max Mara bor- rows high performance jerseys and nylons from the sports arena for glamorous bodycon dresses, bodies and combi- naisons with heat sealed construction. A structured mesh gives a hi-tech makeover to Max Mara’s own design icon, the 101801. Shiny new Lina sunglasses and Bardi-esque wooden soled techno-clogs complete the look.

For modern  women  with big ideas, Max Mara Spring Summer 2017 proposes a new blend of voluptuous modernity; intelligent, audacious, sexy fashion with a lifespan as long as those Bo Bardi designs.

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