Dystopian Raving –
Marni A/W 2020
During his four years at Marni, designer Francesco Risso has sketched a deep dystopian groove into its collections and their presentations. Bi-annually preparing an army of anxious and unsettled youth to eventually storm the barricades of their uncertain future, utilizing the powers of poetry, punk and personal expression.
Visitors of the A/W 2020 Milan show were guided through metallic tunnels to what seemed to be a fall out bunker where Marni-clad 90's techno kids just commenced their last hour of a rave marathon. Many questions come to mind: Where would you leave all these superfluous layers of clothing? Would you be able to find them again 8 hours later? What eventually ends a never-ending party? Could the wet-look truly make a comeback?
Let’s dance ‘til the end of love
Let’s dance our best days away
Let’s dance to keep the abyss at bay.
Let’s dance until everything changes.
Until fashion flows, in a blow.
– Prince Prospero in The Masque of The Read Death
Things become more clear once Francesco Risso explains the performance is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of The Read Death. The story of Prince Prospero attempting to escape the plague by locking himself in an abbey with friends, organizing an all-out masquerade ball. In current times it seem to be the careful which hide behind their television sets awaiting Covid updates while the youthful take their inevitable dancing into the woods. After the show Risso stated:
‘In the days we were making the collection I kept thinking about Price Prospero who locked himself up with millions of friends and danced away. This was our court, dancing to the end of love, expressing the persistence of time and the beauty of what is remaining.’
‘It is not about death, it is about love. It’s a movement that allows you to be a propeller. Ideas of rave culture and how it is an escape – it somehow represents a sort of pause in time. I just loved every second of working with choreographer Michele Rizzo. We were locked in a room together with the music and the clothes. This is what I really treasure about human connection. It is real.’
Back to the collection. Marni fall/Winter 2020 delivers a dramatic blend of over-the-top colors, textiles, patterns and silhouettes. Interesting material treatments, destroyed pieces and mis-proportioned garments. Seventies street cool (faded materials and colors) and Nineties rave (baggy pants worn with tank tops and skin-tight knits) mixed with maximum graphic patterns (stripes, polka dots and hearts). Besides tackling aesthetics, Francesco Risso continues expressing the need for sustainability and innovation in production processes by means of recycling, upcycling, assembling and reusing.