Designer Antonio Marras did not make it easy on the guests who attended his debut catwalk show for his secondary line called I’m Isola Marras. He took them to school, literally, leaving a pencil and an “Orientational Trade Test” multiple choice exam on each seat. While the audience waited they could test their general knowledge of the town of Alghero on Marras’s home island of Sardinia, and explore their natural predisposition for colors, prints and fashion accessories.
It made for a light-hearted start to a charming collection that the designer said before the show was a mix of Manga meets schoolgirl. As the models- all students at the designer’s fictitious University of Alghero- took to the catwalk in their stripped sweaters, beaded floral maxi dresses and geometric roomy outerwear, they had a playful ease about them.
Thankfully, Marras didn’t skimp on his love of embellishments and trompe l'oeil tricks. His distinctive drawings looked sweet embroidered onto a tunic top. A day glow (the Manga element of the collection) stripped sweater broke open at the sides to show it was part of the underlying white dress. And the designer’s own dog became the show’s mascot. Popping up wearing a crown on a printed skirt or featured on a collage top.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine any of these pieces making their way into the hallowed halls of any number of real universities around the world. For this line’s first outing, Marras passed with flying colors.