In a world becoming ever-more digitally friendly, Francesco Risso is on the hunt for what he described as a “tactile romanticism,” but one in his creative vision that’s tinged with experimental surrealism. To showcase this, he conceived a video project to unveil his fall 2021 collection that was in three episodes, delivered at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.

For four days, Risso opened the doors of his stunning Milan apartment to a diverse cast of people, who were filmed doing nothing but living their lives and pursing their passions. But theirs wasn’t just any ordinary life: Risso’s friends are artists who offered live performances and models who improvised domestic runway shows. Some of them also tried to cook in a kitchen-turned-vegetable garden, but the soup included in its ingredients a pointed toe sneaker shoe. “I wanted to showcase something with a domestic dimension, something that didn’t follow any script,” the designer said.

To describe and celebrate his clothes, Risso also penned some poems, “letters I wrote to my clothes. Because of my personality, I don’t like to appear, so I prefer to write these poems.”

“My darlings, mes cheris, I write to you; I think of you; I gaze at you. I need you. You that adorn the body. You Marni clothes, but sacrilege, clothes of shadow!” reads one titled “Clothes of Shadow,” expressing the designer’s love and passion for what he does. “Sacrilege or surprise? Every thing is so over turned, languid, sensual, yet still technical and polished. Two souls: dark but only for behind, upfront it is color all the way/full-blown color. Like a gift dedicated to the one you meet,” the poem continues, summing up the look of the lineup.

While Marni is known for its bright colors, Risso started from white garments that were dyed by hand in black, then corroded and later re-dyed with color. The result was an array of shades the highlighted the strong silhouettes.

Asymmetric dresses were gathered to create corset shapes; sweaters and padded jackets were deconstructed for oversized wraps; knit dresses showed eye-catching combinations of different patterns, and T-shirts were destroyed and then amended with a range of items that can be found at home. There was a sensual vibe in the look where hourglass-shaped blazers were worn with bias-cut gathered skirts, while the furry coats with tie-dye motifs felt cool.

The collection confirmed Risso as an extravagant designer but also showed the bravery of Renzo Rosso, the entrepreneur who is letting him pursue his surreal fashion vision. It remains to be seen whether the market will understand the dream.

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