Marni A/W 2020 Milan Fashion Week Men’s
Scene setting: At Marni, Francesco Risso continues to embody the poetry and panic of an unsettled generation. There is always a dystopian bonhomie to his clothes and their unveiling. Since taking over the creative direction of the house since Consuelo Castaglioni stepped down in 2016, Risso has curated a diverse club of fans immersed in poetry, punk and play. A reach towards youthfulness isn’t a new concept but we live in unprecedented times where the young are tackling global issues head on. Risso sets up his shows as political drama. Guests entered the show space via huge silver tubes, clutching trippy invitations mimicking sheets of LSD. Dancers modelled the clothes under a canopy of laser beams, stopping in mid- flow: clubbers revelling in stillness.
Team work: the show notes began with a poem: A call from Prince Prospero. ‘Let’s dance/Let’s dance ‘til the end of love/ Let’s dance our best days away./ Let’s dance to keep the abyss at bay./ Let’s dance until everything changes./ Until fashion flows, in a blow.’ Risso alluded to Edgar Allan Poe’s tale The Masque of the Red Death in which the Prince attempts to avoid a plague by hiding in his abbey along with other wealthy nobles. There he hosts a wild masquerade ball. ‘This was just a dance that takes us to the end and the beginning of love,’ Risso said of the staging which was choreographed by artist Michele Rizzo. ‘It is not about death, it is about love. It’s a movement that allows you to be a propeller. Ideas of rave culture and how it is an escape – it somehow represents a sort of pause in time. I just loved every second of working with Michele. We were locked in a room together with the music and the clothes. This is what I really treasure about human connection. It is real.’
Sound bite: The models wore upturned hybrids, trapped in a never-ending party. Padded polka dot coats were lined in faux shearling. Window pane check trousers slung low. Oversize padded coats with laminated lapels came with frayed edges. Leather pants, matted knits hacked together. LSD happy face repeat prints on trousers were made to look like phases of an eclipsing moon. Coats were spliced. ‘In the days whilst we were making the collection I kept thinking about Price Prospero who locked himself up with millions of friends and danced away. This was our court, dancing to the end of love,’ the designer said backstage, ‘expressing the persistence of time and the beauty of what is remaining.’