Marni S/S 2019 Milan Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: The show notes to Marni’s S/S 2019 menswear show began with this mind-boggling sentence: ‘Imagining Olympics that are imagined imagining.’ This is the charm of creative director Francesco Risso, who joined the brand in 2016 and has since become known for his esoteric, Daliesque approach. The focus of the collection was on the physical, but far from being an ode to the proliferation of sportswear lux that has taken over menswear, Risso characteristically looked the other way, employing a more surreal, playful interpretation of the theme. ‘Being conscious and proud of your body, regardless of your flaws is a great achievement. I was inspired by the elegance and the naivety of the sport attires of the past which represent to me the essence of masculinity in sports and I reinterpreted them putting a dream filter on it,’ Risso said. The clothes were therefore mashed up archetypes of sports uniforms; cricket, tennis, athletics, fight, golf, football, racing, all reassembled and reimagined. Stand out were two hulking, padded bombers in vintage prints that zipped together to form hybrid, screwball styles.
Scene setting: Last season Risso set up the brand’s showroom like a surrealist scrap yard as we perched on vintage radiators, bumper cars and soft toys. This show was held deep inside the sweltering car park of the Torre Velasca, a residential brutalist towerblock in the centre of Milan – guests sat attentively on bright green yoga balls, bobbing up and down as a soundtrack of aggressive ping pong set the scene for what was to be a surreal, sensual riff on sportswear. Ultravox’s post-punk ‘I Want to Be a Machine’ blared out, splicing the thick atmosphere with its new wave optimism and soul.
Team work : The erotic, abstract photographs by Berlin-based artist Florian Hetz were enlarged and placed onto the front of varsity t-shirts and patch-worked into short-sleeve shirts. Formal illustrated portraits and heraldic symbols taken from a two-hundred-year old scrapbook were printed onto striped shirts and shorts; American painter Betsy Podlach’s sensual, poetical nudes, often in repose, were seen on short, wide-leg trousers and nubby dressing gown coats.