Australian actress Rose Byrne fetching in Max Mara

COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press Published:

MILAN (AP) -- Australian actress Rose Byrne was up with the early morning fashion crowd to grab a front-row seat at Max Mara as Milan Fashion week continued into its second day of womenswear previews for next fall and winter.

Max Mara, Fendi, Just Cavalli and Prada are among the headliners during Thursday's shows, as the fashion crowd continues their appointed rounds. Some highlights:


Max Mara set its English countryside-inspired collection on a cement runway in stark white light. The message was clear: the looks suggest cozy countryside, but the vibe is definitely urban.

Anyone looking for the perfect overcoat knows Max Mara is the place to start, and this collection presents a plethora of oversized coats with innovative accents. One key was the waistcoat that gets sewed over the coat, is worn layered under the jacket or is transformed out of a longer coat, left sleeveless, opening new ways of creative layering.

Max Mara's cold weather looks for next year, at its heart, is a collection of basics -- coats, vests and knitwear -- that give a metropolitan edge to pretty straight skirts that cover the knee or form-fitting dresses comprised of jackets and trouser-inspired pencil skirts. Colors were button-down grays, heather, golden and camel.

As fitting of the English theme, tweeds dominate, accented by cashmere wools and shiny vinyl-looking material and gold crocodile prints. The looks are finished with black or gold crocodile booties, and a clutch on a gold chain.


Australian Actress Rose Byrne says the Max Mara golden crocodile booties caught her eye.

"I am obsessed with the boots," she said after the preview show.

Byrne took in the show from the front row, wearing a golden Max Mara camisole, dark jacket and wide cream pants. The actress says she has always been drawn to Max Mara's coats and knits, and feels like she "grew up with the brand."

Byrne begins filming a new film, the spy spoof "Susan Cooper," with Melissa McCarthy in April. The two will pick up on the zany rapport they developed in the 2011 comedy hit "Bridesmaids."

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