Antonio Marras scored big with his soccer-themed Spring collection (there's a World Cup going on, don't you know?), for which he brought in a samba-sounding live band and an endless cast of models, some of them kicking a ball around the outdoor basketball court. A colorful, joyous tribute to Gigi Riva, the show came with a printed list of reasons why it was dedicated to the Italian football legend, who seems to be rather reclusive in his retirement but remains the country's highest-scoring and most celebrated player.
"Because he used to received one hundred love letters a day and the poor postman distressed by his labor problems was to unload all those letters at his hotel in Via Sanna Randaccio," read one of the reasons. Marras himself could have sent some of those letters, since he was clearly very smitten. Never mind that he doesn't know the first thing about soccer and, come to think of it, has never played it. He said so after the show, laughing at the very thought.
That small detail didn't seem to matter much. Animated and charismatic, Marras had more than enough ideas to pull off his raucous homage. Sport-inspired and street-influenced, the show opened with a large image in Riva's likeness and gushed to the very end. Complicated floral or striped jacquards were piped and paired with athletic materials, mostly mesh and nylon. Bright team colors and a particularly gleaming shade of silver were used boldly yet judiciously, and for the most part baggy shorts hit the mark, meaning they weren't so short as to reveal tan lines. Chunky, color-blocked high-tops and stylized gym bags completed the sportif motif. A couple of double-breasted short jackets with no discernible twist could probably have been edited out, but otherwise the collection was a bona fide hit.
When all the models re-emerged for the finale with a burst of footballs that nearly took out a few in the front row, Marras joined in the fun and attempted a maneuver, his awkward fail eliciting good-natured giggles from the audience.