Natalie Hanson   |   26-02-2017

Francesco Risso presented his first autumn/winter collection today for Marni at Milan Fashion Week. He is still very new to the label, having joined from Prada in October 2016 to replace Consuelo Castiglioni. Although, by his own admission he has always been passionate about Marni, saying the label ‘unleashed these anti-stereotypes into the world. It was fascinating to me because with Marni there were no rules. It was like a free-spirited philosophy of making clothes.’

Before the show, teasers to the livestream of the runway were plugged by Marni with quotes such as ‘I find things that speak to me, in space and time,’ ‘I bloom, therefore I am,’ and ‘Identity for me is in self-creation.’

The set of the show had an industrial feel, with exposed scaffolding works in view, bare grey floor with yellow tape lines and a snaking runway that made models weave through the crowd of spectators. The opening pieces were voluminous yet structured jackets and tops in a palette of neutrals that cocooned and protected the body. Skinny belts were used to add detail to column dresses but not to cinch the models’ waists, further adding to the feel of a structured and rigid silhouette.

Following this, the colour palette widened and shapes began to evolve. Rich burnt orange in block checks, bold purple in clean simple jackets and matching trousers and a pop of grass green on a printed coat were all noteworthy. Also, rich teal looked luxurious, especially in a fringe fur skirt that moved mesmerizingly as the model sashayed through the crowd. Of course, with Marni’s strong background in high quality luxe fur, plenty more of this fabrication was present. The pieces were easy for the most part and not just restricted to outerwear; in keeping with the theme of matching items, one pale grey fur jacket had a matching fur skirt.

The most striking prints came in the form of clashing florals using layering to give the full effect; jackets were worn over bustiers that were worn over shirts. And Risso did not ignore a bit of sparkle that has been so very present on most other runways. The closing dresses had over-size high shine embellishment executed in quirky and unique ways, especially on one dress with an S-shaped curve of giant oval sequins that moved and shimmered as the model walked.

To use Risso’s words, ‘Marni is like a mystery box filled with infinite possibilities and surprises’ and this was true for this collection. What started as stark and protective evolved into a shimmering display of colour and fluidity; his woman did truly ‘bloom’ throughout the show.