From Italy to Dubai, the man behind Kenzo's artistic creations from 2004 to 2011, Antonio Marras, jet-setted to the Middle East to close Arab Fashion Week. Ruling the runways in Milan with his namesake brand, the Italian designer unveiled his Resort '18 collection and it is as edgy as it is playful, with inspirations drawn from Scarlett O'Hara in the iconic film, Gone With The Wind

In an exclusive interview with Buro 24/7 Middle East, Marras explained that his Resort '18 collection also consisted of semi-Arabian flair by saying: "I was inspired by the character Scarlett O'Hara and her departure from her plantation home with luscious green gardens and then, with her arrival in the desert. In comparison with the Arabic woman, what the two have in common is that they almost become one person. It's the idea of arriving in a place and really starting to embrace and express themselves through fashion and loving fashion"

"The prints you see throughout the collection represent the house of the character in the movie in Southern Georgia and it started with the print and the textiles. So, it didn't start off thinking about the Arab world but then I rather conceptualised it and started adding layers to the concept."

With an achingly cool collection that consisted of florals, patchworks, fishnets and mix-matched prints, came Marras' capsule collection of abayas and bridal gowns, which cater to the Middle Eastern market. "I've always made custom-made bridal gowns by appointment only; it's always been more of a personal service," explained Marras. "So I thought about the Middle East, here you have differences between the cultures and it's very international but at the same time, there's a very strong market for bridal. So I just wanted to bring in my own interpretation and to be able to showcase that too with the rest of the collection." 

Since opening his first Antonio Marras concept store outside of Milan in Dubai, the City Walk boutique and restaurant have welcomed the Middle Eastern consumer to an extension of the designer's home. "Dubai chose me," Marras explained. "It's like welcoming you into my home which is inspired by different furniture and influences. What I enjoy here is that we've been given an opportunity to tell a story, especially when creating something, it's about telling a story."

Antonio Marras' collections are now available at the brand's flagship store at City Walk II alongside his contemporary line, aptly titled Isola Marras, which recently announced its new Creative Director, Efisio Marras. Now, take a look at Michael Cinco's Ready-Couture collection showcased during Arab Fashion Week