After 20 years as Creative Director of the fashion house that she founded, Consuelo Castiglioni left Marni in late October. This menswear show was the first collection for Italian designer Francesco Risso, who now sits in the hot seat.
When asked backstage about the inspirations behind the collection, Risso said: '1 + 1. Easy as that. Like a kid tapping on a keyboard.' Having joined from Prada, where he worked on the womenswear collections and special brand endorsement projects, one of the 1 + 1 equations was clearly Prada + Marni. There were lots of Prada-isms here, in terms of design. Perhaps, it was more so an indication of how similar these eccentric houses sometimes are in terms of womenswear output. And how the womenswear parallel can now be seen within their menswear too. Miuccia Prada has ensured, throughout the last ten years, that her menswear offering is as exciting as her womenswear. And last season, Consuelo Castiglioni took it up a notch - finally - by matching the kooky irreverence of her womenswear with a similar sensibility within her menswear. Risso seems determined to continue this 1 + 1 way of working - and strengthen the connection between the two collections.
The shownotes also talked about using 'a binary code to connect multiple realities'. A video installation by Berlin based artist Zeitguised saw models walk through a digital corridor of cartoon graphics, showing ominously empty bathrooms with the taps left running - and oozing washes of bright green suddenly undulating full screen. A 'Virtual' Insanity tip arrived via Jamiroquai-style fluffy hats, and the retro clothing proportions within the nineties Acid Jazz scene. Coats were fastened with thick belts, jumpers were worn baggy and tucked in, whilst the soles on shoes were thick. Trousers that were 'too long' and high waisted saw this impeccable Stefano Pilati signature combined with a glitchy off-beat dressing up box vibe. Indeed, there were lots of references in the show notes to an almost psychedelic relationship with computers, code, and style, via phrases such as 'vortexes that draw bridges' and 'a formality that enters a void'.
With a mathematical formula at play it should make sense that squares were present. These arrived not just in the shape of printed checks, but via appliqué patches of fur, checkerboard cardigans and 3D quilted jogging bottoms.
Other seventies-on nineties-references included corduroy, the colours burgundy and brown, 'messy fur' coats, yellow lens shades, military patch pockets - and an overall air of post-Vietnam odd ball styling - à la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The formula was right. The foundations are set. Now it's Risso's opportunity to turn away from the formulaic, and hunt down some more mathematical mysteries.