Antonio Marras is as much a showman as a designer. Can anyone ever forget his rather dark art installation, a production put on at Milan’s famous Triennial in 2016? An engorged exhibition showcasing the many ritualistic exercises Antonio Marras has to perform, making sketches and installations, trying to reach perfection.
So it didn’t surprise us as we entered his Milan atelier and saw he’d transformed the space into an early 1900’s artists studio.
The collection was shown as a huge production complete with actors as artists, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers and poets causing a stir, stopping to wax sonnets, dance and celebrate being alive.
As for the collection, the clothing was in line with the theme of the show. It ranged from extremely lavish to very modest and simple. There were morning dresses, afternoon dresses, and evening gowns for women. There was a tonnage of suiting for men also ranging from the most simple three piece suit in wool to more decadent tuxedo style suiting in damask silks.
The colors for the collection were dense and deep, keeping in line with the palette of an early era. The more refined clothing featured colors in antique pink and powder pink, aubergine and bordeaux, octane and marron glacée.
There were beautiful shades of Panna, ecrù and mauve, pearl gray and anthracite gray. Camel and the classic black and white.
A few modern trendy colors for everyday wear came in bright rings of acid yellow, orange and turquoise. Masculine silhouettes were featured in fabrics and silks with large flowers and faces drawn in watercolor.
Lots of lace, ruffles and volantes. Velvets and beads. Sequins and pleats. Tulli and lane check. Damasks and grisaille. Pinstripes and animal print.
Similar to the collections at Milan Fashion Week lines were loose and fluid. There were unique and oversized geometric jacquard sweaters with yarn mix and brushed mohair.
Deconstructed white shirts, draped aprons, silky ruffled dresses, and simple patchwork jackets created a type of ordered chaos. Everything was embellished with some sort of soft tulle, gold or black sequins, damask inlay, pearl blocks or effected by touches of curled chenille.
At a minimum the collection was bold and unconventional, and sometimes provocative. As a designer Antonio Marras seeks to escape rules, conventions, prevailing habits and impose a new lifestyle. His designs while nostalgic are always eccentric and cosmopolitan. The wearer appearing unique, full of experiences, interests, and knowledge.
Before the show Antonio Marras described the type of person who’d wear his clothes:
I see them dressed like this, between art, literature, travel, city, countryside, past and present, each with his whole world, each attracted first by the pleasure of knowing, seducing and being seduced and surrounded by beautiful things because, after all , this is the real secret of life: “Beauty is Truth. Truth is Beauty “.