For those who wondered what the Antonio Marras brand would look like after Gruppo Calzedonia’s takeover, the show that opened Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday was the moment of truth.
Good news: The Sardinian designer’s imagination still runs wild, his natural talent for storytelling is intact and his prowess for fabric juxtaposition and artisanal techniques is charming as ever.
For spring 2023, the tale sparked from Marras’ creative mind had a hero traveling across unexplored Sardinia and encountering people of all sorts to rediscover an old opera house, where apparently even Maria Callas performed before nature took over the abandoned location. (All fictitious, of course, but Marras knows how to sell it, from the bucolic set-up inside the brand’s headquarters to the soundtrack.)
In sync with the inspiration, the coed collection opened with floral motifs and lush landscapes printed over ample dresses, midi skirts, fluid tunics, kimonos and even on a maxi poncho. Flower-shaped laced appliqués and patches delicately bloomed on tulle pieces, white shirts and separates in mannish fabrics. Opulent damasks and brocades added to the patchwork game, which remains a signature of Marras’ style.
The final seven gowns — with their lavish mix of textiles, puffed up volumes and long trains — hit the highest notes and were borderline couture. They were tailored by costume seamstresses of the Piccolo Teatro theater in Milan, with whom Marras joined forces for the special looks.
If all of the above proved the Sardinian dream is still alive, a breeze of change also started to blow over the brand. A plethora of frilled and laced bras worn over shirts, styled with pencil skirts or peaking from under jackets, as well as knitted culottes, basic blouses and floral hosiery didn’t seem coincidental but winked to the new business partner’s innerwear world.
Yet Marras made it clear that even if he found a companion to share his own journey, he still holds the creative compass tight. Further proof? The show ended with a remix version of “My Way.”