A natural-born storyteller, Antonio Marras raked up a Sardinian legend to build the narrative around his pre-fall collection. He gave his personal twist to the tale, which recounts how the ancient city of Barax once stood where the only natural lake on the island is now located.
In this Atlantis-esque story, the city’s inhabitants attracted divine punishment and had their hometown submersed by water for having taken earthly pleasures too seriously. But in the designer’s version, these delights mainly included extraordinary artisanal skills in weaving lush fabrics.
In Marras’ hands, the results displayed at his Circolo Marras Milan headquarters made up an exquisite limited-edition series of handmade embroidered knits and rich velvet devoré and laced fabrics used in long, pleated dresses.
As per the legend, the divinity offered the chance to escape only to a virtuous girl on the condition she would never turn back — to avoid being turned to stone. For Marras, she did pay the price for not wanting to leave behind her favorite suit — just like he couldn’t give up his signature touch of mannish pinstripes, herringbones and checkered fabrics on deconstructed blazers and tailored coats.
Outerwear came in voluminous and enveloping shapes, telegraphing a sense of protection, while delicate tulle dresses were embellished with floral motifs copied from a vintage wallpaper. These sprouted also on a pretty tartan kilt, which along with striped knits and corduroy suits conveyed a ‘90s grunge vibe.
Once a year the tale’s heroine resumes human form for a day and, according to Marras, spends her time constantly changing her attire. Looking for a moral of the tale, one is left wondering if the lineup is his dream of getting everyone out of their pandemic-era tracksuits and into vibrant floral prints, tartan and tulle — at least for a day.