Ahead of Marni’s Milan Fashion Week show, those lucky enough to secure an invitation were asked to visit the brand’s headquarters for an appointment. Every attendee, whether they be celebrities, editors or family members, was to be decked out in a unique Marni ensemble on the night, making them part of the performance in an immersive experience which quickly became one of the most talked-about and highly anticipated slots on the week’s schedule.
Each outfit was created using deadstock material and then was painted and reworked by the Marni team to create a cohesive look. Dressing each and every person invited to a fashion show is no easy feat—there’s ensuring sizing is right, the vibe works (that they actually feel happy and comfortable in their allocated look), and of course, there’s the logistical nightmare of trying to find a time that works for everyone in a week packed down to the hour.
But Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso had a vision. This show was about demonstrating what is the most important element to him as a designer, and at the core of Marni as a brand: its community. After almost two years of virtual showcases and of separation between the people who wear the clothes and the brand, Risso wanted to reconnect and show his thanks to those who continue to support and inspire him.
The show notes describe the vision of ‘Wear We Are’ as simply: “A collection about the act of getting dressed to be together. An action of trying on, fitting in and fitting out that connects the audience and the show, the observers and the observed. Everything and everyone as one.”
Upon arriving at the venue, guests dressed head to toe in Marni were seated around a circular industrial-look stage built out of recuperated metal before models—all of whom were artists, musicians, and muses of the brand—made their way around the venue with spraypainted blue mullets and wet-look hair.
Floral print reined supreme seen on mini dresses, tight and bright trousers and mix and matched on long jumpsuits with yellow striped legs. Stripes were almost just as popular seen on the likes of Paloma Elsesser, who wore a colour heavy vertical striped midi skirt and horizontal striped boob tube, and on huge oversized blanket-like white and navy dresses. There were also yellow and black silk two-piece suits and tight cut-out maxi and midi dresses—some of the collections most sexy pieces—in blue and black.
You’d think creating a 360-degree immersive experience would be enough of a sensory overload, but in the middle of the show the violinists—directed by Dev Hynes—stopped playing and artist Mykki Blanco treated guests to a spoken word performance before Zsela took to the stage for a musical performance (dressed in an incredible look made up of a floral skirt and matching bra with knee-high striped socks and platform floral print shoes).
As applause rang through the venue, everyone—guests and models alike—couldn’t help but smile as Risso moved through the middle of the stage stopping to give those who walked for him huge hugs. His energy caught on and soon it felt as though the entire crowd was embracing each other. The moment was joyous, felt even through a screen.
It’s clear Marni wants to move forward, but after years of isolation, Risso wants to do so together. Word on the street, the after-party was at his house: intimate, friend and family-focused, Marni DNA written all over it.