Francesco Risso wanted to re-create an imaginative escape room with the setup for his fall show. In his fervid imagination, the models walking the catwalk were judges making sure participants — in other words, the guests at the show — were respecting the rules. Does it sound a bit crazy? Certainly. But Risso considers fashion a playground for his creative experiments.

For fall, Risso’s focus was on the “neuro-erotic.” Yes, neural and erotic. An interesting concept, especially for a brand like Marni that isn’t exactly associated with any form of sensuality. Risso set the bar high, trying to define a new idea of seduction befitting the brand’s quirky and edgy aesthetic. The results were mixed.

Fluid fabrics were used for deconstructed dresses, their different pieces kept together with snaps and rings. Chain belts and metallic accessories were wrapped around the body for a slightly punkish, but also a bit fetish, feeling. Other satin long tunic dresses featured clean, uncomplicated silhouettes peppered by metallic hardware. Tailoring was approached with a rebellious attitude to deliver maxi jackets with cut and repairedlike details at the shoulders, worn with asymmetric plissé skirts. A checked suiting fabric was pleated and draped to create an intricate skirt worn with a two-tone V-neck collar. Playing with illusions, the designer splashed leather separates and silk dresses with pixelated prints of polka dots, flowers and feminine faces, which looked better on the simpler, cleaner styles than on the manipulated, wrapped and torched frocks.

The collection sometimes became too complicated, with silhouettes more interesting than actually flattering. But it showed an experimental approach often not seen on the Milan catwalks. The next goal for Risso should be to rein in his fantasies and inject a bit more controlled spontaneity into his effort.

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