Antonio Marras has once again proven that he is a master of his craft. With his latest collection, he has shown that he is not afraid to embrace his passions, even if it means breaking away from his own personal rules. Despite his stated aversion to incorporating flowers into his designs, Marras’ latest fall collection was awash with beautiful floral patterns, blooming on silk dresses and embroidered jackets, which he has come to consider as one of his obsessions.
The designer’s brand has recently entered a new phase, supported by Italy’s Gruppo Calzedonia, a development that Marras considers a “miracle” after previous potential investors left him feeling uncertain about the future of his label. With this new safety net in place, Marras was able to focus on his creativity and let his imagination run wild. The result was a mesmerizing coed collection that was intricately embroidered, handcrafted, and elaborate.
Marras’ designs spoke of his newfound freedom and reenergized spirit. The collection was a parade of beautiful brocade dresses, jackets adorned with Marras’ signature artistic drawings, devoré velvet dresses, patchwork knits, suits made with an antique Sardinian technique used to create artisanal carpets, and much more. The designer added jolts of gold and red to the otherwise earthy and black color palette, resulting in a number of stunning checkered kilts.
Marras dedicated the collection to Grazia Deledda, the Nobel Prize-winning writer from 1926, and the collection had an early 20th-century mood. The designer recreated a forest around the runway, inhabited by wild animals, with the idea of telling the story of strong women like Deledda who ventured into the unknown and overcame the difficulties in life. Carmen Kass opened the show, all in black with a heart memento hanging from her neck, in Marras’ packed home runway space.
What was heartening to see was that the new investment had not stimulated a synthetic direction. Marras’ intensely wrought surplus pieces, his feather-trimmed and crystal-heaped knits, his late-19th-century and early-20th-century intellectual femme-fatale dresses, his self-illustrated embroidered patches, his brocade and tulle-edged tailoring, and his dark florals were all present and correct. The designer even added a touch of diffusion with two dog-print jersey hoodies that echoed an endearing dog-portrait print used in silk dresses. Tartans and blood-red oversized suiting hinted at a very loose consideration of English country dressing.
The show marked a turning point for Marras, as it marked the beginning of a new chapter in which he can spread his always Sardinian story to a vastly increased audience. The same venue, the same soul, the same Marras, but different too. Antonio Marras continues to prove that he is a true master of his craft, and his latest collection is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his art.
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