One could breathe a sigh of relief watching the Antonio Marras spring show. The designer sold a majority stake to Calzedonia Group last year, but this hasn’t curbed his fascination with theatrical show productions — nor his imagination. On the contrary, it was obvious it has given him a sense of freedom to focus on his creativity as Marras presented a riveting and exciting collection for spring, which took viewers onto an imaginary stage set.
The Italian designer translated his passion for the movies into a film inside his show. The runway set was arranged like a film studio, where actors, the director, workers, costume designers and assistants took turns fussing around the ultimate Diva, with a capital D, said Marras, and played by Marisa Berenson. As models walked around the set, she impersonated the quintessential, capricious actress — tantrums included as she loudly demanded to know where her husband had gotten to.
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Marras’ mood board showed images of a famously litigious real-life couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whose films together included the 1967 “Boom” that was shot in Alghero, Italy, where the designer was born and still lives, and was directed by Joseph Losey.
Marras was six years old at the time and Hollywood coming so close to home made an impression that never left him. Adding more feeling to the show, images of the Sardinian sea and the island’s rugged mountains ran on giant screens as a counterpoint to the collection and the mock studio.
However, the clothes weren’t overshadowed by the production. Ethereal caftans were juxtaposed with a double-breasted pinstriped pantsuit cinched at the waist, with a long black flower embroidered on the side adding a feminine touch to the tailored design.
Sheath dresses flowed, either embroidered, embellished with Chantilly lace or beaded, contrasting with sartorial Prince of Wales suits.
Full miniskirts in gold damask were offset by Marras’ signature military jackets with floral applications or sequined patterns.
There was plenty for men, too, such as a sleek leather trench, silk Bermuda pants or a suit with a faded floral motif. Boxy jackets with strong shoulders worked on both men and women.
A gem of a long evening gown was embroidered with a motif reproducing cresting waves and birds flying above the water.
The new owner’s financial muscle is helping Marras to be even more assured — as he indulged in 90 looks — and showed more and stronger accessories, without compromising his aesthetic.
Berenson concluded her speech by saying that “simplicity is always rewarding.” In Marras’ case, the opposite rings true.
Launch Gallery: Antonio Marras RTW Spring 2024
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