this just in: marni, msgm and dolce & gabbana autumn/winter 17
On Sunday in Milan, Francesco Risso debuted his womenswear for Marni in a season rich on rumours about future designer appointments.
Marni fall/winter 17
Much like the religious world, the Sunday of women's shows in Milan is traditionally a day of reflection. The travelling circus has made it over half way through the gruelling four-city show schedule and now, Paris awaits. Overtired and scatter-brained, editors and buyers debrief and revise the season so far: what's the big story? Well, it's the usual musical chairs—or rather, the same scenario as every season, only with different people and houses. This month gossip falls on Riccardo Tisci, who left Givenchy last month, and Clare Waight Keller, who recently announced her departure from Chloé. Where are they going and who's taking over? After Givenchy put out a statement denying rumours that Virgil Abloh - the designer behind Off-White - was joining the house, all eyes were on Gosha Rubchinskiy for the role. Now, everyone's money seems to be on Waight Keller, who would create a Givenchy worlds apart from those other rumoured candidates. And therein lies fashion's never-ending fascination with its own musical chairs: the insatiable thirst for novelty and something to talk about. As for Tisci, everyone's tipping him for a position at Versace, where Donatella would remain at the helm. Disclaimer: this is all speculation!
And so, the Sunday of autumn/winter 17 shows began with the outcome of one of last year's rumour mills, namely the fate of Marni. In October, Consuelo Castiglioni announced her departure from the brand she founded in 1994, and the arrival of its new designer, former Prada team member Francesco Risso. (Castiglioni had already sold a majority stake of Marni to Only the Brave in 2012.) If Risso's furry, colourful menswear debut last month was a loud arrival, his womenswear for the house - which had a huge following under Castiglioni - was somewhat more subdued. Seats were covered in maxi-bubble wrap, which the designer interpreted in dresses that could have been the brainchild of Franco Moschino, whose current successor Jeremy Scott also happened to show a collection this week based on packaging and recycling. The bubble wrap dresses served as a symbol for the muted character of Risso's first vision for Marni. Gone were Castiglioni's quirky, arty, supersized Technicolor statements so favoured by the street style crowd outside fashion shows, and in their place were matted pastels in great, big hairy coats and cocktail dresses generously embellished with disc sequins.
Both of those elements were very Marni, but through Risso's lens his collection had that certain sense of fade that fashion likes so much at the moment. From Demna Gvasalia's Balenciaga to Raf Simons' Calvin Klein, the pieces are avant-garde but the feeling is somehow normcore. It's fashion through the Reyes filter, if you will. The original Marni fans may take some time to get used to it, but after the show, Instagram was lit with love for Risso, who already has something of a fan base through his Prada past. The creative director of Pucci, Massimo Giorgetti knows the expectations that come with taking over a Milanese powerhouse. Once a rumour is confirmed, the industry eagerly awaits the designer's first collection with climactic zeal. There must be a certain comfort and reassurance in having your own label next to all that madness. At MSGM, Giorgetti can do what he wants—it's his brand and his legacy in-the-making, much like what Castiglioni did from scratch with Marni. On Sunday, he revisited a beloved reference in the shape of Twin Peaks, carrying over his Elizabeth II headscarves from last month's menswear in a vivacious and zesty collection of the kind Giorgetti loves.
Milan's affinity for fashion rich on colour, volume and texture was what paved the way for a brand like MSGM, which is all about the big statement. And Castiglioni's legacy at Marni has a lot to do with creating that platform. The international press occasionally looks bewildered at some of the things Milan offers up, but there's a wonderful madness to it, which shouldn't be toned down for the sake of making things more subversive and cool, the way we've seen it on some runways this week. Dolce & Gabbana have a genuine approach to eccentricity. It's their runway and they do and say with it what they want. This season they shared it with a vast array of 'real people' - i.e. not models - including mother-daughter duos, the lovely Olivier Cheshire and Pixie Lott, and The Financial Times' Jo Ellison, who gave the Metropol a big smile as she strutted down the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk in a red fur coat. This was the designers of fashion interacting with their industry, putting us on the podium the way we do it with them, in all our gossip and our very own fake news. At the end of the day, the rumour mill keeps us all on our toes and perhaps that isn't such a bad thing.
Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams