Antonio Marras loves a woman on the brink. His last pre-collection was inspired by Elizabeth Taylor, spiraling into madness in Suddenly Last Summer. His latest started with Monica Vitti, also headed for emotional storms in L'Avventura, the game-changing Italian classic from 1960. There's something about extreme emotion that agrees with Marras' designs, with their clashing prints, patterns, colors, and textures. At their most straightforward, that can mean a mash-up of masculine and feminine, tweed colliding with brocade in a cropped jacket. At their most unsettling, though, his clothes crossbreed matronly Milanese propriety with an edge of dressed-in-the-dark madness. That quality was very present in his latest collection, with collages and layers that one minute teetered toward bizarre and the next, had all the controlled chic of late-fifties couture—and some of its luxe, too, especially in a tripartite coat banded in silk, sheep, and wolf. There's a whole movie waiting to happen right there in that one item.
In fact, Marras' vision is peerlessly cinematic. He created a special capsule range in hot pink and emerald duchesse to match the moment in L'Avventura when Vitti finally freaks out. But that highlighted a problem with his new collection. There were too many times when it was too close to the cinematic source to look or feel contemporary. On a more upbeat note, the inspiration for Marras' next celluloid-inspired extravaganza is right under his nose in the form of his adorable 4-month-old Jack Russell puppy, Pier Ivo. After The Artist and Beginners, the world can't get enough of feisty little Jacks.
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