In a World Divided, Marni’s Study of Extreme Contrasts Feels Timely

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For Fall/Winter 2018, everything at Marni was about contrasts. The first distinction was made clear when the most glamorous names in the industry arrived in their fashion finery at a decrepit warehouse crammed with discarded bundles and old tires, and took their seat upon stacks of newspapers and disused television sets.

The second contradiction took place on the runway, where Francesco Risso found harmony in marrying opposing forces together. His was a woman divided, caught between the push and pull of individual desires and collective, societal expectations. His clothes were literally bifurcated, featuring a war of juvenile colors vs. mature silhouettes, finished vs. unfinished textures, and clashing fabrics.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

The collection’s duality was particularly exemplified by its severe, glossy leather pieces, which were juxtaposed against raw, natural fabrics, flyaway threads, and rope tassels. Shocking hues of Klein blue, kelly green, and crimson were contrasted against tony neutrals – sometimes the looks were split directly down the middle between a bright half and a neutral half. The silhouette was also divided between a variety of amazing ribbed sweater dresses which clung to the figure and featured intriguing seam placement, and oversized, enormous layers which engulfed color-blocked, platform trainers below.

The collection integrated deconstruction, with hints of Margiela found within the exposed seams, unfinished hems, and raw edges of silk dresses, tabards, and finale of asymmetrical sequined frocks. Then there were other, can’t-quite-place-them elements that arrived from the recesses of Risso’s imagination, like a felted wool coat that resembled itchy attic insulation. The show’s biggest reaction came by way of coats covered in cat face prints, which were universally adorable, no matter what age you are.

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