Antonio Marras has created a collection for fall/winter 2014 that is going to be very difficult to find in stores, and where one does find perhaps a piece or two, one must be ready to pay dearly for them. While I’m sure Marras has some plan for producing a sufficient number of pieces from this collection to turn a tidy profit, the best pieces, the ones into which he has put the most effort, are going to be more rare because they each involve the recycling and reuse of not one, but several fabrics. Coats are constructed from old coats. Dresses are constructed from old dresses. Every where one looks in this collection one finds re-purposed materials. Even the fur, which one would not necessarily expect Marras to use at all, comes from old garments that had been thrown away.
This is a very unique and very earth-centered collection. The color palette delves into earth tones so heavily that at times the mottled fabrics looked as though they had been pulled from the dirt and mud. “New” fibers, where they exist, are all naturally sourced from renewable sources. Marras exercises a conscience in this collection that, quite honestly, one rarely sees in the world of high fashion.
What one needs to understand when approaching this collection that it is based on both the life and the work of Annemarie Schwarzenbach, a swiss writer and photographer as much known for her androgynous look and lesbian lifestyle before World War II as she was for her books and photographs, especially of Afghanistan. This influence is seen in the large sheath and tunic cuts that tend to mute one’s gender, as well as the wolf motif carried throughout the collection. In Marras’ opinion, the wolf represents Schwarzenbach’s wild spirit and sense of adventure. As models walked through a maze of scaffolding representing the mountains of Afghanistan, the sound track was punctuated by the call of wolves in the wild while pictures of wolves revolved on the screens attached to the scaffolding.
This is not a frilly, girly type of collection, though there are a few pieces with absolutely beautiful floral brocade. This is a collection more for the ethicist, the woman with a conscience and sense of adventure. Look for it, and if you can find it, buy it. There won’t be too much of this collection left by mid-season.