Marni SPRING 2019 READY-TO-WEAR

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Oh, the longing for the value of the human touch in fashion! Francesco Risso put his finger on the beauty of the handmade and the happy accidents that happen when a collection is made in a creative studio rather than on computer screens. “It started with the processes of the work in the studio, and thinking of it as a painter’s canvas, which keeps changing and modifying in the trials and mistakes—suddenly, that becomes the work itself.”

The painter’s blank canvas is very similar to the toile fabric designers use, and the process of 3-D draping of fabric on the body to judge what looks right is a sculptural one. This collection captured the vitality of work in progress—the spontaneous moment when a tacked- and pinned-together assemblage of fabrics suddenly comes together and looks lovely just as it is. It had the same feeling as when an artist instinctively knows when a painting is finished. The skill is in the decision to stop before tidying up and overthinking ruins it all.

So, when did Risso see that the moment had arrived? “It was when all these personalities came out,” he said. “It felt like Dr. Frankenstein bringing the Venus de Milo back to life—a remote future of disheveled nymphs, 3-D Amazons!”

Wherever those characters sprung from, this collection was basically a blockbuster of an exhibition of the kinds of clothes and accessories that artistic and intellectual women absolutely crave. The side-draped skirts, the buttery leather chopped-up corsetry, the coats with finger dabs of paint or naive painted flowers, the pops of raspberry and blue in the collage-y prints, the wonkily lopped-off biker jackets—a brilliant catalog of a wardrobe for Marni collectors. No doubt about it: Risso has found his groove here.

 

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