I had a father, I am a father. My father, like me, was Sardinian from Alghero, an outpost of Sardinia right in front of Spain. He used to have a fabric store, fabrics meant for every occasion. Occasions when it was important not to look but give respect.
Dresses for parties, for engagements and weddings. Baptisms and confirmations. Funerals and processions. The store was in the center of the ancient part of Alghero, Via Roma 56.
In the long and deep workshop, the fabrics were carefully rolled on wooden shelves. For every person there was a fabric , just waiting for the right time to be chosen, to be sewn and take shape and life.
I’ve always poked around in my father’s shop, played with combinations of colors and materials, observed attentively the skirts and shawls of those silent and determined women who came to Alghero from the country to buy good clothes for special occasions and for the work, stuff that would last for decades, wear- resistant and weatherproof.
I miss the boxes of handkerchiefs for men that were then embroidered with the initials for the lucky ones, perfectly ironed into four equal parts by patient wives. My father always put the handkerchief in his breast pocket, right next to the heart…
I have always rummaged among the collection of ties of my father, fascinated by the same form that was repeated in endless patterns no one equal to another. I think of my father always with a cigarette dangling from his lips, like an actor or a sailor.
I kept the pieces of fabric from the workshop of my father. I kept his precious meters of wood that were used to measure the length of the fabric purchased. The length of a meter as the notches carved into the wooden counter.
Four feet for a pair of trousers with turn-ups and ten more gifted for soft spots, for possible errors of little expert hands. One meter and 70 for a double-breasted jacket and a one and 80 for a coat…
When everything changed, when the fabrics have given space to tayloring, when thought and slowness have been replaced by everything- ready-immediately, rush, speed and urgency, the shop has been replaced by clothes boutique.
I have chosen some of the fabrics among my fabrics preserved as relics and works of art. I have reviewed and reworked them.
Blue and doubled cloths, polka dot corduroy, technical cotton, jacquard jersey necktie fabrics, tartan wool, micropiedepoule, felted gabardine, double jersey, multiflower printed cotton drill, neoprene, chevron wool combined with melange jersey, necktie printed micro-canvas wool, canvas microcashemere print wool, liberty printed poplin, Oxford.
Sweaters with necktie printed jacquard, English stitiches with saylor stripes, Ireland tufted stitches, panels punched with men’s fabrics and fur. Traditional colors of blue and gray, cord and aviation. Aubergine, oil.
Volumes: oversized pea- coat, carrot pants, jogging with drawstring. Sailor‘s coats, jacket with quilted sleeves. Reversible jackets, traditional vests and cocoon sweaters.
Antonio Marras © Copyright 2014