By Erin Moonyeen Haley
Whispers of the 'Girly Goth' trend were well underway by the time New York Fashion Week 2023 wrapped up. That passion has seemingly taken black-winged flight on the runways of Milan, with a dramatic fusion of gothic glamour and balletcore gorgeously evident in the theatrical presentation of Antonio Marras.
Utilizing what Marras called the Sardinian aesthetic, the feel was Old World on a parade of nostalgic elegance. All 104 looks for this particular show were framed around the writings of Grazia Deledda, who, in 1927, became the first, (and thus far only) Italian to win the Nobel Prize for literature. A Sardinian herself, she garnered attention for her "idealistically inspired writings which, with plastic clarity, picture the life on her native island." From her writings, Marras and his wife, Patrizia, spun a narrative where one of Deledda's characters and a lovesick hunter had a midnight rendevous deep in a bewitched forest.
To bring this tale to life, faces were left almost gossamer and fresh with kohl-lined eyes giving a wide-eyed, doll-like visage that befit the abundance of lace and heavy fabrics. White, red and black were the dominant colors, servicing Marras's story by calling to mind costumes from a Victorian gothic romance where the themes of the supernatural and the tragedy of the past infringing upon the present played on the audience's sense of pathos and longing.
Black lace swathed models galore, with delicate appliques on tailored jackets and smokey veils whispering of ghosts in the night.
The use of reds seemed to pull from the gothic fantasies of Guillermo del Toro, while the tartan maintained the aura of posh refinement forever subjected to old money whims and tragedies.
Wolves howled over the sound systems, dovetailing the loose nod to Nordic-style overcoats and boots.
Black and white patterns seemed to take inspiration from heavy tapestries, each with its own vignette unraveling in the fabric.
Princess-like gowns with caramel and gold brocade maintained the 'once upon a time' retrospective approach.
Just when it seemed that the show would stay ensconced in the 19th century, black tie attire with modern silhouettes and subtle sparkle edged the narrative toward the present.
~ Images courtesy of Vogue Magazine