There are some things Antonio Marras just can’t stay away from. Apart from his intriguing storytelling, he admits he always tries to avoid adding flowers to his designs, but in the end he simply can’t. To wit, his fall collection was bountiful in floral patterns, blooming on silk dresses or embroidered and paired with tulle on the jackets he revisits — another self-confessed “obsession.”
The Antonio Marras brand is going through a new phase, supported by Italy’s Gruppo Calzedonia, a development that the designer calls “ a miracle” after previous potential investors left him lukewarm about selling his label.
This safety net allowed the designer to focus on his creativity and let his imagination run, as he showed a coed collection that was intricately embroidered, handcrafted and elaborate. This isn’t new in itself, as minimalism is not a word that belongs in the designer’s vocabulary, but this season it spoke of Marras’ newfound freedom, leaving him reenergized. It resulted in a parade of beautiful brocade dresses, jackets embellished with Marras’ signature artistic drawings, devoré velvet dresses under furry capes, patchwork knits, suits made with an antique Sardinian technique used to create artisanal carpets — and much more.
Marras added jolts of gold and red to the mostly earthy and black color palette, as in a number of checkered kilts.
He dedicated the collection to Grazia Deledda, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926, and the collection had an early 20th century mood. But he recreated a forest around the runway, inhabited by wild animals — and there were some shirts reproducing this fauna — with the idea of “telling the story of strong women,” like Deledda, who was ahead of her time, “venturing into this wood and overcoming the difficulties in life.” That may very well be, but those women would be dressed to the nines in doing that.