In fashion, there are designers who change gears every six months and there are those that labor season after season with the same core aesthetic that they fine tune over and over again in the pursuit of perfection. If you are in the latter category, like Antonio Marras, the ebb and flow of fashion trends can sometimes make you seem like a sartorial island unto yourself. But as luck would have it, currently the industry looks to be rushing back to Marras’s isle of romantic femininity and he is ideally placed to take advantage of this watershed moment.
On Saturday afternoon the designer’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection did not disappoint. Once again, Marras poetically pulled together a jumble of different, one would think incongruous, reference points to build an emotionally charged lineup of whimsical designs and clothing collages of singular beauty.
Using the artist Mahmoud Saleh Mohammadi’s “Touch With Eyes” installation as a backdrop – a wall of kilim rugs and a runway covered in boulders tethered up with ropes descending from above – Marras sent out a collection inspired by the eclectic work of Armenian artist and director Sergej Iosifovič Paradžanov, whose love of the quixotic and mythical matched his own.
As far as the clothing were concerned, the overall energy of the collection was folkloric, heightened by a gilding of rich flourishes and a patchwork mélange of materials. The show’s maxi slip dresses, cut from different types of lace, were worn with simple t-shirts finished off with sequins. Skirts with draping volume at the side were grounded by wide belts worn fitted to the body and tops in colorful botanical prints or shimmering abstract motifs. Striped garments became more feminine as the lines were columns of gold and roomy outerwear was never complete unless it featured some sort of organic sequined embellishment. All of it tinged in a metallic wash of a bronze and gold color palette.
The result was a dream come true collection for women who love to dream big.