In his first collection since leaving the helm at Kenzo, Antonio Marras laid on quite the spectacle. A tale of two halves, first we saw the models take on the role of the ‘madames.’ Pleated skirts with matching short-sleeved jackets and bikini tops of course in Marras’ famously vivid patterned prints exuded a contemporary elegance and ‘je ne sais quoi’. The SS12 floral bouquet made another appearance on thin, silk collared dresses and matching wraparound jackets as did the pyjama set, a welcome trend on runways throughout Milan. The palette was strong with turquoise, fuchsia, cream and black and hair was pulled back and plaited and make-up was discreet everywhere but the eyes. As what we thought was the final look of the collection left the runway, lights dimmed and the sounds of Edith Piaf’s ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’ filled the auditorium. Lightsup and the black backdrop fell to reveal the models transformed into maids. Poised in seats at the back at of the auditorium (cue roars or “get out of the way” from the photographers’ pit). Marras’ ‘socialism’ reference point was clarified, it was now time for ‘downstairs’ to have their moment in the spotlight. Striding down the runway, the maids wore variations on the madame’s pieces, silhouettes remained similar and the colours remained as vibrant but patterns and materials changed, less refined and sophisticated more fun and frivolous! Which side are you?!
Text: Sean Baker
Photography: Mitchell Sams