I find them particularly moving and having an ability to make the time stand still. Antonio Marras Spring/Summer 2016 collection was one of those moments. Even more so, it wasn't just visual poetry in itself, but a continuation of one - an hour-long film created by Sergei Paradjanov in 1968 and a series of collages, also by Paradjanov, which Marras turned to.
Originally titled "Sayat Nova", "The Colour of Pomegranate"* was inspired by the life and works of Arutyun Sayadyan also known as Sayat Nova, an 18-century Tiflis (Tbilisi)-born Armenian poet and musician who expressed his thoughts in Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani languages.
I remember the first time I watch The Colour of Pomegranate. My recollection of it now is very similar to the film - shreds and splashes of memories: a dark winter evening, the little me wearing a heavy coat that restricted my movements, my parents and I in a theatre watching Sofiko Chiaureli - Paradjanovs muse who played several characters in the film, and the screenshot of the pomegranates bleeding onto a white cloth... That was it. I was 6, or 7 at the most.
Naturally, I had no idea of Paradjanov or full understanding of his genius and unique vision. He spent a lot of time in prison, sentenced for being extremely talented, different, gay in a country that had no sex (seriously, we had a slogan "There's no sex in Russia") and shooting one his movies in Kiev, thus accused by the government for "raping 340 members of Communist Party and being an Georgia-born Armenian director using Ukranian studios to make a Russian movie based on a story by a Ukranian writer"** He was released following a petition signed by Godard, Truffaut, Rossellini, Antinioni, Fellini, Visconti, Aragon, Tarkovski and Vartanov***
And it is because of those turbulent times we lived in, the Colour of Pomegranate suffered greatly, too. The original movie was longer, but Paradjanov was ordered to remaster it several times and, sadly, the cuttings didn't survive.
Still, what we have now is one of the most treasured masterpieces of the world's cinematography that serves as a palette so rich and vibrant that it fuels imagination and creativity. I loved the references Marras used for his collection - from the choice of patterns mimicking the traditional Armenian costumes to the embroidery and colours inspired by the film and the 2007 Le Magnifique exhibition that included 70 art collages created by Paradjanov between 1970 and 1990.
I was deeply touched and extremely grateful to him for bringing back a part of history that might not have been perfect, but is incredibly dear to my heart and soul, and focusing people's attention on the man who should never be forgotten, his talent and the movie everyone must see at least once in their life.
* the English translation "The colour of pomegranateS" of the title is slightly incorrect
** from the interview with Paradjanov recorded in Paris in 1988
*** biography via wikipedia / RIA News
Photo source: Antinio Marras Spring/Summer 2016 via vogue.com & stylebistro.com, inspiration boards made by me with screen shots of the Colour of Pomegranate and collages by Sergei Paradjanov