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Antonio Marras Womenswear S/S12

The designer imagined two wardrobes in Milan, one for a bourgeois housewife and the other for her maid

In a soundtrack shrieking ‘Maintenant c’est moi Madame’ (Now I’m the lady of the house’), Antonio Marras offered a collection subtly packed with social messages: imagining an opposition between a bourgeois housewife and her exploited maid longing for her boss’s fine dresses, he created two wardrobe. One consisted of fine pleats with prints inspired by Japanese watercolors; aqua silhouettes in silks and organza, for a feminine, controlled result. Trench coats were explored in a game of contrasts between folds and fluidity, flaps; silk flared jumpsuits delivered an classically glamorous silhouette.

This then morphed into an interpretation of a maid’s wardrobe: simple black or white cardigans with frou-froued necklines, slouchy trousers with button up shirt; toga-inspired dresses seemed to suggest the maid dressing up in Madame’s clothing. Then, the finale was a patchwork operation mixing the two wardrobe: like the maid’s revenge, dresses came marching down with appliqué of more noble materials, knitted, ripped, onto simple three-quarter lengths dresses. ‘C’est moi Madame’ indeed.

Dazed Digital: What is the story behind the collection? One hijacking social classes?
Antonio Marras:
The collection is inspired by Jean Jeunet’s play Les Bonnes (The Maids), and so I imagined two wardrobes: The first one is the one of Madame: lot of clothes, coats, lots of plissé, a little bit bourgeois, a little bit sensual, but not sexy – and this season I used a stretch fabric to underline the shape.

DD: And the second?
Antonio Marras: It is the maid’s wardrobe, because I imagine the maid getting close to Madame’s wardrobe and trying on her dresses, her coats, even her lingerie. After that, I imagine her humble dresses and her work uniform; and for the finale, I recut and reassembled both wardrobes into one line. And so the maid became the Madame, that’s the transformation.

DD: So what is the message behind your fashion interpretation of this tale?
Antonio Marras: It’s a social message; it’s a message of democratic fashion.

DD: And what was the most challenging aspect of this collection?
Antonio Marras: To manage to transform the classical, humble uniform into beautiful and interesting pieces.