Since Francesco Risso took over Marni after the surprising departure of Consuelo Castiglioni, he has done a good job of sustaining the house’s eclectic, artsy aesthetic, with very few hiccups along the way. In fact, his Spring/Summer 2019 collection for Marni was downright awesome. However, for Fall/Winter 2019, we were forced to wonder: what happened?
Risso took one of fashion’s two most well-worn subcultures – punk rebels and underground club kids – and reworked their looks into a complex arrangement of hardware, leathers, and prints. There were plenty of plaids – some transformed into cool deconstructed outerwear – and a lot of chains dripping from the pieces. But the problem is, the looks were confusing. If you have to spend more than five seconds to figure out what you are looking at, you get the impression that a sartorial investment is better spent elsewhere.
Take Look 10, for example. What is it? At first, it looks like a sleeveless, pleated top with a short bodice and long hem – a mullet of a top, if you will – paired with a plaid skirt. But, upon closer inspection, the scarf attachment at the throat appears to be stitched to the front of the skirt. How do you put it on? Why is there a choker on top of the scarf? Again: what is it? Raise these types of questions too much, and the audience will quickly give up.
This isn’t to say there aren’t good pieces here; there are.
In the past, Risso has been so steadfast at delivering experimentation in a city that is known for its luxury tradition and entirely expected outcomes. It’s surprising to see his work marred by overthinking. This isn’t to say there aren’t good pieces here; there are. There are handsome reptile skin long coats, and some pretty silk dresses with cool pixelated prints – like the one Nora Attal wears – but for the most part, the collection suffers for its complexities.
Here’s one really cool part of the show, which was, incidentally, themed on a fantasy escape room (unclear from the clothes, but still): each of Marni’s models wore individual beauty looks. It’s too bad that individuality wasn’t felt more strongly in the clothes.