You can always count on Francesco Risso, Marni’s creative director to bring some fun to Milan Fashion Week with his quirkly Italian athleisure. Growing up, Risso earned the nickname “Virus of the Wardrobe” at home due to his penchant for cutting up his family members’ clothes and adding extra pant legs or removing sleeves while they were out. “It was like a drug,” he says. After seeing his Spring 2019 menswear collection, you might agree he still has a prediction for reimagining clothes.
The show notes read: “We’re here today to attend the imaginary Olympic games. All the sports of all times are represented, long-forgotten sports and forgotten athletes; their bodies imperfect and flawed and vulnerable like Egon Schiele’s drawings. And what really counts is the love and respect and awareness we feel for our body, however imperfect they are.” However, instead of a literal take on athletic wear, Risso sent out a more bonkers interpretation, inspired by cricket, golf, tennis, skating, baseball, boxing, wrestling, and racing. The collection features vintage-bathing-suit-striped sweater sets, a patchwork sleeping bag as a bomber, a wrestling robe with basketball shorts, and baseball jerseys worn with golf socks. All the things that he thought Olympians in the ’20s and ’30s might wear. “I was trying to make a sport collection for Marni that wasn’t grounded in the hyper-human, but in the joy of the sport,” explains the designer.
Risso’s Marni man isn’t afraid of a bit of grunge, either. The mashed up silhouettes and clashing patterns like stripes and checks or stripes and florals were juxtaposed with abstract drawings by German artist Florian Hetz. The abstract prints continued on oversized nylon windbreakers worn with skater shorts fashioned out of felted mohair. In another look, a bathrobe worn as a coat was printed with a pattern of nudes by painter Betsy Podlach and shown with a t-shirt and wide legged trousers reminiscent of the 90s. Risso also alluded to how sports affect body image and instead street cast all of his models for his show. “Their bodies are imperfect and flawed and vulnerable,” says Risso. All body types are welcome.