Antonio Marras Spring 2017 Menswear on Bessd

Antonio Marras Spring 2017 Menswear

Antonio Marras ditched the catwalk this season, choosing to show his Spring men’s collection in September during Milan Fashion Week, alongside his women’s. He opted for a small preview instead, held at Circolo Marras, his poetic showroom hidden in a leafy Milanese courtyard. The space also serves as a store, selling not only Marras’s collections, but also an offbeat array of objects dear to the designer: mementos, souvenirs, knick-knacks of every possible sort collected during trips, or created in collaboration with artist friends. Marras loves creative collaborations as much as he loves travel. “For me feeding on different artistic disciplines is vital,” he said. “I’m a bit of a vampire.”

The voyager theme has been ubiquitous on the men’s catwalks this season, but for Marras it’s a longstanding fascination. He recently explored it in his women’s Resort collection, so it seemed natural that he return to it here. Biarritz and the French Riviera were the romantic destinations of choice; from there, the collection took flight, departing for Amsterdam, followed by an exotic leap to East Asia, finally coming to rest in the vast rural places of China. It read like some sort of a stylistic Lonely Planet, translated Marras-style in a compelling and slightly madcap medley of floral prints and patterns in bright colors, embroideries, and chinoiserie motifs camouflaged with macramé appliqués, sailor stripes, and patchworks. Balancing the decorative overload, shapes were kept simple and functional; oversize sweaters; military parkas, jackets and pants; classic T-shirts, and bombers all had roomy, slightly baggy proportions.

Speaking of collaborations, the designer worked with the Italian artist and performer Franko B on a small line of cotton T-shirts, for which he restyled four images drawn by the artist, filtering them through his creative lenses in appropriation mode. Elaborating on the subject, a grinning Marras loosely paraphrased Picasso: “Stupid people imitate, real geniuses steal.”

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