Juliet of the Spirits. An Italian fashion design Renaissance with casting and a show that made us remember what fashion week is supposed to be about, Antonio Marras defined his collection with characters.
Probably the most telling sign of the success of the collection were the melted looks of joy from even the most curmudgeonly "seasoned" faces of fashion week as the models and characters interacted with the audience, according to the archetype they embodied. While it is known that "unimpressed resting bitch face" is calling card of all fashionistas, it was impossible not to smile and drink in every piece of the artfully styled looks.
A poke into the deepest crevices of our subconscious, the collection was based on the lifelong companion of Federico Fellini, Giulietta Masina, or Juliet of the Spirits and held in a surreal space to further coax us into an alternate reality. There also seems to be a clear influence from Marras' son, Rocco Marras, whose savvy business sense and own artistic style seems to channel eras where fantasy and mythology awakened our appetite for mystery.
The show began with a performer literally swinging from the rafters, back and forth across a vacuous post-industrial cathedral in a medieval future on a swing strung with flowers, with the a full orchestra in the background, a reference to encourage a "swinging" perception of reality.
A collection full of headdresses, sheer lace, lots of stripes, floral prints, and geometric opticals, men and women of all ages populated the runway. Sequins, tulles, and distressed velvets were accented by colors reminiscent of a Baroque dream state like blush pinks, mauve, dusty blues, cocoa, magenta, teal, saffron, off-whites, military greens, hues of grey and inky black.
Characters instead of influencers, an immersive setting, live music, and an interactive show that ended with a massive smooch-fest of men kissing women, women kissing women, and men kissing men: if there is any hope of convincing the disillusioned that there are still stories to be told in Italian fashion, Antonio Marras is the one to do it.