Not far from the former Ansaldo, in an anonymous street, beyond the gate of an ordinary building, past a wide corridor, you come out into an incredible garden that is an explosion of colourful extravaganza: trees, flowers, colours, lights, ceramics, old precious furniture… From there, you enter the Ali Babà cave, the Circolo Marras’ headquarters, which have taken over from a mechanical workshop.
Open on Saturday and Sunday. Free visits.
Upon reservation, it will be possible to make a personalised Antonio Marras t-shirt with materials of your choice.
Antonio Marras was born in Alghero, Sardinia. The island has always deeply influenced his aesthetic. His fashion debut is the result of a lucky chance. In 1987 a fashion house in Rome asks him to design a prêt-à-porter collection. Their invitation is due to his dual baggage of skills: cultural –Marras has always involved himself in every form of artistic/creative expression – and technical, thanks to his family’s business.
This combination has provided him with solid foundations to build his first, eponymous collection on. In 1996 he is asked to present an haute couture show in Rome. The key elements of his style are already clear to see: the focus on craft techniques; Sardinia as a source of inspiration that is never reduced to folkloristic kitsch. The mix with arts, music, dance, theatre and cinema: fashion as a link with other languages, a brand new alphabet for communication.
He debuts with his prêt-à-porter in March 1999 in Milan. The collection has all the elements of his poetics.
In 2003 LVMH invites him to be the artistic director of the Kenzo fashion house, which will be Antonio’s travel companion for eight years, until 2011. In the same year Marras is active in several art projects in collaboration with many artists such as Maria Lai, Carol Rama, Claudia Losi.
In May 2007 The contemporary line I’M ISOLA MARRAS is launched, a more accessible collection characterized by the same Marras’ world codes. In January 2014 the Menswear line has re-debutes with the FW 14-15 collection. To the purpose of further strengthen the core of the Marras world, both collections are displayed at Circolo Marras showroom in Milan, the Sardinian designer’s general headquarters.
From 2009 to 2015 Marras presented many art exhibitions and in 2013 he was bestowed the Laurea Honoris Causa in Visual Arts by the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. In 2016 Triennale in Milan celebrates Antonio Marras by an important retrospective exhibition: Nulla dies sine linea.
The Circolo Marras is an ex-electromechanical workshop within an apartment building of the 1930s.
From the outside, like many spaces in Milan, it does not let anything leak out. A normal and common door at the entrance and you enter, only after a large corridor and through an old glass door, in a courtyard full of green and flowers, always different depending on seasons, that is completely unexpected.
First you see NonostanteMarras, the exhibition space and then, down the stairs, after encountering an olive tree, you enter the showroom.
The space was inaugurated in 2004 after a year of careful and punctual renovation. They choose to intervene while keeping the original features of industrial space as functional as possible, while making it functional to use as a showroom.
Original glazing and flooring have been maintained. A kitchen was then furnished with a large vintage wooden table purchased in Amsterdam that contrasts with the white and black checkered floor and crystal chandelier. In the bathroom there is a mosaic with poetry and a drawing by Efisio Marras of when he was a child.
The whole space was conceived as a home, a great loft that respected the hospitality rules. It’s a place, therefore, which represents the idea of living, shelter, art, work, communicating by Antonio Marras.
Moving into a location that is a nest, a small island in the distracted whir of the world, a precious haven where stop and recharge of new energies. A space that changes constantly thanks to the ever-changing set-ups.
Occasionally takes on a different set-up and astonishes each and every time because it seems to realize a preordained outline, such as an open work, in progress. It is a multifunctional space that lives all year round with always different initiatives. It’s not exclusively related to exhibitions and sales, but a place where you feel good, it’s reserved and open at the same time, welcoming, “host” in the meaning which this word had in ancient Greece, in Sardinia and in the Mediterranean, for whom the foreigner, the guest was sacred and it was considered a crime to violate the laws of hospitality.
On the occasion of Apritimoda, Marras will host a special experience for the guests.
The idea is to create a t-shirt in the antoniomarras’ style. White t-shirts and an avalanche of pieces of fabric, trimmings, embroidery and accessories, will be available to be selected and put together to manufacture one-of-a-kind custom-made tops.
The visitor can choose the materials to be applied on the t-shirt and there will be seamstresses at the sewing machine to finish the garments. If you wish, you can purchase the customized garment.