In Milan, Antonio Marras' fauvist collection draws from migration

Milan (AFP) –


Italian designer Antonio Marras unleashed a procession of fauvist travellers on the catwalk Friday in a collection dedicated to "those how have still not left and those who are forced to leave."

Models wore animal skin motifs from around the world, mingled with delicate translucent fabrics as they walked through a series of wooden doorways resembling airport metal detectors, on the third day of Milan Fashion Week.

Enormous hats with plants or butterflies sprouting from them could barely fit through the doorways in a collection dedicated also to French 19th century poet Arthur Rimbaud: "The man with wind beneath his feet."

Referencing migration but also Italy's ill-fated 1930s occupation of Ethiopia, the famously experimental and theatrical designer used emotive soul music to heighten the experience.

Models wore geographically distinctive dresses and jackets, south east Asian inspired hats, African animal prints and even a nod to US high-school football jackets.

Hats resembled those worn by beekeepers for protection, while cheetah and snake skin patterns mingled with gracefully sown flowers.

At the climax of a heavily symbolic presentation, a group of men wearing only white Y-fronts with army boots tied around their necks stumbled through the same door frames, embracing each other before cleansing themselves under a shower of white sand.