Antonio Marras built a series of rooms, made of battered doors and dusty windows inside which models wafted about

Antonio Marras F/W 2017

The Milan men’s season finds an unlikely hero

Okay, we know that fashion designers are not really considered to be artists, but that is exactly what Antonio Marras is.

Literary Britain met theatrical Italy. Lady Chatterley – both a 8-meter high version of the seductress in a giant patchwork denim crinoline ranting endlessly, and a practically naked adaption in a ménage a trois inside a boudoir – met a series of Canadian trappers and 19th century Alpinists in a mesmerizing display by the Sardinian designer.

Antonio Marras
A gang of angry soldier/actors greeted one at the entrance to an existing exhibition of Marras

A gang of angry soldier/actors – looking very incensed, dressed in great combos of kilts and corporal’s khaki green jerseys covered in insignia – greeted one at the entrance to an existing exhibition of Marras, entitled Nulla Dies Sine Linea, meaning Not One Day Without Drawing, staged inside the modernist art space La Triennale.

Marching through several forests of vintage clothes – scores of tuxedos with cowbells jangling or hundreds of frayed dress shirts – the audience was invited to discover a series of bizarre tableaux. From a Canadian trapper with a silk parka in an Arcadian garden print to a mustachioed Oscar Wilde on stilts going back and forth serving tea to suggestively rouged Victorian schoolmarms out for the night in silk gowns and leopard stoles.

Antonio Marras
Canadian trappers came upon 19th century Alpinists

Working in that unique Italian groove of the Transavantgardia – Marras built a series of rooms, made of battered doors and dusty windows inside which models wafted about. Outside, his plaid trappers posed on huge ladders or marched in military formation, yelling, shouting and sticking their tongues out.

None of this would matter too much if the clothes were not any good. But this was also a great collection – from the Edwardian topcoats with jade embroidery to the military safari jackets with tiny cutout tartan doges marching across the torso.

Mad Marras is artistic mode at its best.