MaxMara Creates Undercover Wardrobe for Female James Bond and 'Killing Eve's Villanelle

Courtesy MaxMara

The Italian fashion house imagined a runway for the international female who is always in disguise.

With her singular style of humor and authentic storytelling, Fleabag and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the most in-demand women in Hollywood. Now her influence can be seen on the runways of Milan, as her unique female characters have helped shape the MaxMara spring-summer 2020 fashion collection.

Waller-Bridge, who has crafted one of the most provocative TV assassins in Killing Eve’s Villanelle, has also been tapped to rewrite the next 007 film No Time to Die. MaxMara’s runway collection imagined a wardrobe for a female James Bond, paying tribute to the original 1963 female heroine, comic book icon Modesty Blaise.

Top models Kaia Gerber, Joan Smalls and Gigi and Bella Hadid stormed onto the runway like a mini-army, sporting plaited braids, vamp lips and a wash of pastel blue eyeshadow.

Gray ensembles with knee-high socks, oversized pockets and holster-shaped trimmings recalled Hitchcock heroines, but with the tropes reversed. There were no sexualized blonde but rather powerful women who owned the show and carried their own stories.

Khaki or cashmere trench coats were some of the most practical accessories seen in Milan this week, abundant with pockets perfect for either an undercover agent or a woman traveling through LAX sans luggage. Oversized Whitney bags shown could fit an entire spy kit; every model could also be seen walking with her hands in her pockets as if emphasizing the practicality.

A line of tropical "military uniforms"  included knee-length shorts and more multi-pocketed shirts, ties and blazers in shades of eau-de-nil, seashell pink and powder blue. Designed to take our heroine from a jungle adventure to evening cocktails, the casual yet sexy get-ups seemed almost to mock the decades of uncomfortable and restrictive Bond girl get-ups. These looks drew direct inspiration from one of the most legendary Bond Girls of all time, Grace Jones.

For the grand finale, MaxMara presented a line of pastel gowns with diagonal silk volants, topped with matching military caps. The models walked with ease, yet it was clear the gorgeous paisley prints and soft fabrics would be enough to sway even Villanelle to comfortable elegance.

With MaxMara imagining the runway impact of a female 007, it just remains to be seen what designer will step up to dress the Bond boys.