Men’s – Truman and Che. Marni SS20

Francesco Risso moved big topics in his spring-summer 2020 collection for Marni, but in his typical, poetic, metaphor-filled manner. A fishnet was hovering about the guests’ heads, full of plastic debris collected from the oceans and from waste. Called Act1, the show was a conscious approach to engage in a deeper conversation on ethical values and a sustainable fashion practice: “We are here today to confirm our position in the world and to move towards action,” said Risso. “Let’s be vocal about our beliefs.“The designer has been implementing sustainable thinking into the brand for the last few seasons, but this really was a statement that hopefully will bud into real consciousness at the Italian brand. Even though you could expect exhausted eco warriors walk down the runway, Risso sent down a line-up of looks that sparked joy. It was a marriage of Truman Capote and Ernesto Che Guevara, beauty and rebellion. Marni’s rebels wore fabulous, crazy ritual totem-hats, made by artist Shalva Nikvashvili outof stuff that could have been easily thrown away to the trash: scraps of paper, feathers, plastic, fur, leather. The clothes as well had sustainable origin, to some extent. They had a sense of carefreeness, but weren’t ridiculousor clown-ish. Safari suitsweresplashed with brushstrokes, and cashmere and alpacas were patchworked with plastic and brocades. It all blended into a rather non-chalantly elegant,layered wardrobethat would be the fitting uniform for the Truman and the Che in an ideallypeaceful, eco-utopia.But you know what? I can equally see those clothes being worn in real life.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Positive. Marni Pre-Fall 2019

There’s always something very joyous and positive about Francesco Risso‘s approach to designing collections for Marni. For pre-fall 2019, which starts to hit the stores, he crashed prints and textures without much caution, creating a beautifully chaotic wardrobe for an equally unique personality. The utilitarian elegance of uniforms was translated into elongated dusters, sleek car coats and double-breasted peacoats in thick fabrics like felted and pressed bouclé, padded satin, polished leather, shearlings and ponyskins. Psychedelic brocades and Lurex jacquards were used in one blouse, while Inuit-inspired prints were mixed together in opera coats and skirts with half-plissé side panels. The recurring use of natural materials is a nod to the no-waste, responsible approach the designer emphasizes. I think Marni, with Risso’s folksy aesthic, can take a step forward and start making its collections from upcycled materials, too. And incorporate traditional artisans’ work into each collection. This would be a brilliant example for other Italian brands to follow.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Angry. Marni AW19

Marni‘s Franceso Risso had a lot on his mind this season, which resulted in a rather chaotic collection. Chain belts, heavy boots, chokers, tattered finishings – this was the grungiest Marni you’ve ever seen. But was it convincing? Risso wanted to investigate the “limits of freedom”, as well as update the term ‘sensualism’. In this patchwork of gingham, pixelated prints, polished leather and fierce red, I rather saw some kind of teen aggression, but made fashion. It’s not a bad collection – but I feel like Francesco should have done something lighter, hope-sparking, or go all the way and do an Marni-esque version of 70s Westwood and McLaren. Well, we all have ups and downs, and knowing Risso’s talent, I can forgive this one.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Flirting with Fashion. Marni Resort 2019

Marni‘s just-released resort 2019 look-book is so, so good. Francesco Risso‘s pre-collection feels like a remix of fashion history’s key chapters. 1930s dynamism and turn-the-century crinolines where beautifully matched with couture-inspired volumes (see that extraordinary black coat with XXL, round sequins or one of those chic peplum dresses), while contemporary, loosely fitted biker jackets contrasted with corset-like bustiers. Risso loves jumping from one theme to another, somehow pulling harmony out of chaos in his work for the Italian house. The looks, shot by Bibi Cornejo Borthwick, have that ‘realness’ factor – those aren’t pieces for fashion editorials, but for life. A joyful, slightly eccentric kind of life!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.