MILAN, Italy — The arrival of a new creative director is always a delicate time. Even more so if the brand has a strong identity and a twenty year history: which streak of DNA will the new leader pick in order to write a new chapter and move forward? Francesco Risso had no hesitation: he upped the psychedelic ante which is quintessential to Marni — a label that, somehow, inevitably conjures ideas of abandon in Ibiza and well-to-do individuals going bonkers — and went all the way down for it in his debut show.
This time, however, Marni's brand of classy 'n arty psychedelia was translated into a men's collection: and this is, honestly, a first. The poetic and pensive young man of the past left way to nerds in polyester leisure suits, don't-want-to-grow-up kids in padded everything and clubbing shamans in shaggy furs. A bit Doctor Seuss and a tad The Flintstones and, to put it bluntly, quite amusing. Of course there were persistent Prada whiffs to the whole: after all, it's where Risso comes from, and a creative imprinting like that won't be easy to erase. But it was all good Prada references and a bolt of childlike energy. There is still a lot to work on but this was a good start.