Amidst the research process for the Resort 2019 collection, Francesco Risso came across an astonishingly meticulous, antique book handmade in 1856 by an aristocratic English lady. The head designer at Marni, pictures this woman sitting in her luxurious living quarters and carefully collaging together a work of art that told a fragmented story of her family through her chosen images. This was far before this kind of craft was recognized as an art form, and Risso deems it “the best mood board ever.”
From this antique and heartfelt compilation of memories, Risso assembled a collection that simultaneously incorporates and rebels against Victorian aesthetics, bourgeoisie dressing, sportswear elements, and an almost cartoonish experimentation with scale. The initial effect of the assemblage of styles exudes offbeat playfulness. Still, Risso manages to keep the collection sophisticated in the skillful color blocking and pattern mixing, and of course the use of high-quality materials.
Not unlike Dries Van Noten, Risso pulls from his past experiences, his subconscious even. His childhood is a unique one; he was born at sea on a sailing boat where he lived with his family for five years before they all returned to Genoa, Italy. His father often wore what he loved most, the color pink. At this time, Risso recalls his parents hosting large dinners bursting with delicious food and drink, along with eclectic people from around town.
Risso is perpetually inspired by spontaneity, with Kurt Cobain being one of his fashion icons. He has amassed an admirable image archive, allowing him to surf quickly from whim to whim. For him, it should be obvious how fashion is made, hence the visible stitching, disordered patchwork, and unfinished quality that some of the pieces have. That’s not to say the collections aren’t extremely polished and well executed.
The resort collection boasts bold, abstracted floral designs using saturated colors in a pop art fashion, reminiscent of Andy Warhol or Keith Haring. With this collection it seems Risso has reinvented obvious spring patterns and colors, masterfully mixing geometric designs and organic shapes for a fresh take. Soaking in the countless inspirations, we find that Marni’s new collection celebrates bold femininity, reminding us of what we loved when we were young, but with Marni’s imaginative twist.
These are among the many reasons we love Marni. Risso’s use of pattern in combination with the silhouettes he designs are artsy and intellectual, with a playfulness that is appropriate in many situations, particularly a casual place. There are some warm cottons and other sporty elements that speak to nature, and a connection to the world has always been one of our major inspirations as well as his. Growing up at sea, and later in Genoa, it’s understandable that he would take pieces of his growth and translate them into his work. It is these qualities that we highlighted with our take on his collection, as we traveled back to his roots, crafting a story about a woman spending her days by the sea enchanted by the natural elements.