Antonio Marras: collision course

What sounds to be a Spanish guitar is drowned out by a hunting horn. That’s the first collision of Antonio Marras’ fall 2011 showing at Milan fashion week. And the idea of collision, or at least of contrasts, seemed to repeat from there on in from the show’s rose and tulip prints set against a black background to the masculine edge evident in many a piece.

That contrast of feminine with a masculine edge is one that runs through the majority of the collection. Take the navy great coat as an example; double breasted and cut with a peaked lapel, its broad shoulders and heavy leather belt gave it a masculine quality, as if there were a jacket borrowed from a German officer (a motif that influenced several pieces) during one of the wars that ripped through Europe in the previous century. The masculine-meets-feminine was perfected, though, in the collection’s statement collars. Repeated throughout, each was oversized and hung forwards from the model’s neck. Made in a brilliant white, they were so crisp, so thick that you could almost feel the starch from your seat.

While so much feels masculine, Marras cites a different influence: the style of old European women. Picture it and I’m sure you’ll know it, it’s a look of cardigans, full skirts and chunky-heeled shoes. Peruse Marras’ autumn / winter 2011 collection and I’m sure you’ll see that quality in there, but in person the refinement of the pieces, the fact that they’re cut inline with youthful figures, saw them come off with more of the masculine feel that I felt dominated.

Other contrasts existed too. Take the heavy houndstooth blazer decorated with floral motifs and set against a much lighter, dark-floral dress. Elsewhere feathered herringbones were layered over sheers. Then the show’s closing act, a troupe of models heading down the catwalk wearing man-style shirts under lace and sheer dresses, rounded out the theme of contrasts.

It wasn’t all heavy knits and masculine, however. The collection had its fair share of floaty dresses and skirts, their pleats and movement a welcome change, but they always played second fiddle to the rest.

You can see all the photos of Antonio Marras‘s Milanese autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 showing by clicking on the thumbnails below.