Marni pre-fall 2021 collection | Vogue

Even though the locks are slowly lifting and we tentatively re-emerge in a fuzzy state of freedom, we’re not yet in Zoom-free territory. And while some of the videos that designers have been forced to make instead of live events over the past year have been virtual gems, the physical representation of fashion is still non-negotiable light at the end of the day. tunnel. “It’s been such a steep learning curve,” said Francesco Risso thoughtfully on a video call from his Milan studio. “But now I need to live, I need he contatto. We have become creatively skilled at intangible translations of experiences. Now we have to integrate abstraction and materiality. “

Risso tried his hand at balancing ether and flesh earlier this year, when he hosted a community Marni-fest in his apartment, bringing together a group of friends for a breakfast tour de force / lunch / dinner broadcast live on video. The bonkers banquet frenzy (in which, to begin with, a sneaker was cooked into a minestrone-style soup for guests to enjoy) arose out of nostalgia for the sensory-sentimental portrayal of pre-lockdown creativity. “The need to be digitally compatible, I understand that,” he said to himself. “But somehow I rebelled against it. As designers, our approach is eminently tactile and sensitive, especially here at Marni.

For the pre-fall, which reads like a prequel to the fall 2021 kooky dinner party, he struck up a conversation with his design team about connecting with an even wilder and more emotional side, bringing poetry and romance into the story. picture. Black isn’t a color typically associated with Marni’s chromatic pyrotechnics, but it featured prominently in this collection, providing a sort of dark exploration space from which novelty could flourish. Black is also the most romantic color, evocative of dramatic sturm und drang, but also soothing, a blanket of tranquility and composure resting on the depths of inner turmoil: “I gave in to the idea of to hide and not to be seen or not to show oneself to others, which can be reassuring, but also sensual, ”said Risso. “Black gives off a feeling of calm, comforting rest.”

Risso loves puzzles and playing with arcana and paradox; the extended presence of black was perhaps conceived as a metaphor for the limits and restrictions of our time, contrasted by the need for softness and comfort, which he described as “shells against harsh reality.” The concept has been twisted into a play of deconstructed forms, treated as shells that collapse and dissolve around the body. “I wanted to soften the formal to a point of extreme flexibility and malleability,” he explains. Roomy, reversible, square-cut tweed coats were opened up and made into fringed blanket-sized mutations to be wrapped around the body like protective stoles.

Risso took a tactile and artistic approach to the jagged edges and raw hems of tartan kilts worn over matching pants, hand-drawn watercolor flowers printed on soft-draped asymmetrical dresses, and fuzzy airbrush-applied grids on tops. tailor-made suits. Ruffles wrapped over a vintage-looking black puff-sleeve dress were covered in gold, while floral lace embroidery from an antique wedding dress was transposed in gold sequins over a delicate nightie. “The ruffles and lace speak of lightness and frivolity,” said Risso. “These are romantic antidotes to the darkness and gloom that we have been through.”

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Daniel Lange

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