It takes a lot of hubris to keep guests on their feet in the dark — literally — for 45 minutes waiting for a show to start.
Not to mention then staging a slow-moving runway procession, and when it got to be too much for some, not letting them exit. As in guards physically preventing them from leaving.
That was Marni, and it was a s–t show. Which is too bad, because what Francesco Risso had to say was quite interesting.
To stage his latest experiment in creative community and upcycling, he chose a cavernous, overgrown green space with a central rock formation (I swear I saw, or at least imagined, a snake). Everyone packed in around it, and some dude thought it would be the perfect moment to light a joint.
When the show did start, models pushed their way through holes in the crowd in their journey up over the rock, each with a guide to help light the way.
A metaphor for the human experience? Possibly. As the Ram Daas saying goes, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
The clothes were tattered and worn, with jeans and plaid trousers slashed all the way down the legs, a blush satin slip ripped into strips, and tailoring deliberately mended with sparkling threads.
The spiky rubber clogs and boots could be the next must-have fugly footwear. DIY knit balaclavas, upcycled biker jacket bonnets and twisted wire crown headpieces abounded. Hand-knit striped scarves dangled from cuffs and dragged on the ground.
It was like a school play in the best — and worst — way.
Afterward, the models made their way outside to a blue sand courtyard set for a bohemian banquet with cakes, grapes and Champagne. One woman jumped up on the table and started posing in her creamy slipdress pinned at the sides, her rubber cowboy boot crushing an aluminum ashtray.
Risso has developed an enviable community of collaborators, or “interpreters,” as he called them. And it turns out they codesigned the collection, bringing meaningful pieces from their own wardrobes to wear with the Marni pieces. Risso himself wore a tailcoat that belonged to his grandfather, along with a hand-knit scarf and horned crown.
“I love this mutual sharing of these objects, it creates this fragile armor. Things that are there in our wardrobe that we wear with such pride because they become the meaning of who we are. Sometimes we forget about them, but I get fascinated about how each person brought with them stories,” he said, keying into the season’s theme of DIY self-expression. “There’s a lot of mending, and bringing emotions and a sense of time to pieces. It’s the opposite of making something cold and dry and detached, it unities us in how we make it together.”
The virtues of co-creation, treasuring what you have instead of always running to the new and being yourself in your clothes could be the path to fashion enlightenment. If only it didn’t take so long to get there.