Is fashion art? Antonio Marras argued in the affirmative, with beautiful results. The designer sent out an exceptional array of hand-painted and embellished gowns in his collection, which was inspired by the whimsical sculptures of Kathy Ruttenberg.
With ecru cotton as his canvas, he brought to life a 3-D garden. Flowers and faces were sketched in black ink; embroidered bees appeared ready to take flight, and scattered throughout were appliquéd petals made from silver leather and perforated pink patent.
“The dress becomes like a canvas to a painter, a blank sheet to a writer or a partition to a musician — in other words, the dress becomes a vehicle for telling a story,” Marras explained backstage.
He grounded his flights of fancy with looks that incorporated bucolic references in photo prints of flowers and 17th-century gardens, sometimes mixed with techno fabrics. Items such as a Fifties-style bustier dress with a mesh back and a patent leather bomber jacket with oversize sleeves gave the designer’s poetic vision a commercial appeal.