Club kids and dreamers at Marni, Marcelo Burlon County of Milan and No. 21 respectively marked Saturday shows in Milan
Escapism in the form a good ol’ fashioned rave help showcase the collections of Francesco Risso for Marni and Marcelo Burlon County of Milan while Alessandro dell Acqua touched his softer man with a dab of military might.
There certainly were clues that you were in for something special at the Marnimen’s show Saturday; even more than the rave-ready massive deserted warehouse – Milan is full of them – which was located in the formally industrial and now gentrified Lambrate Design District. The standing-only invite directed guests through four symbol and neon light colored-coded tin pan tunnels. For instance, the red tunnel invite, which had a Hamsa hand symbol was actually designed like blotter acid with tiny perforated tear-away squares (minus the actual chemicals) to help set the mood.
No mind-altering chemicals were needed as upon
entering the darkened space as laser beams of color spectrum lights touched
down on the gaggle of male and female dancers slowly meandering like some zombie
apocalypse doing their best slo-mo app moves IRL courtesy of choreographer Michele
Rizzo. The multi-discipline artist and movement teacher develops his eerie
numbers inspired by club trance dancing. Barely connecting with one another
each model/dancer slothed and slinked about as if in their own world on the
dimly lit stage/runway.
This being a fashion show, eventually, some gaffers needed to shed some light on the clothes Francesco Risso whipped up for the spectacle so up went the lights and the music transitioned to an aggressive pace as the performers moved quickly up and down the set in a circular fashion; moving but going nowhere and disconnected from one another; was this also nod to society’s mobile-device induced zombie state?
The lights revealed an explosion of color and combos fit for a Carnaby Street psychedelic 2020 reboot. But apparently Risso had the plague-fearful Prince Prospero of The Masque of the Red Death in mind (thankfully the show pace quickened and shone as guests wondered if the initial pace would bore them to death). Mis-matched colors, patterns and hybrids reigned; shows notes described the latter as “persistence of the memory, assembled together to as beautiful leftovers to create unsettling hybrids” The staging added to this “unsettled” notion. Diagonal graphic stripes, bold polka dots, a trippy Happy face pattern (another nod to inferred acid tabs), the odd windowpane check were combined to clash in silhouettes oversized and/or elongated. Monochromatic looks passed for a viable proposal. A refreshing revisit to a Seventies-cum-Forties-look – tank tops paired with a cinched waist baggy pant signaled a trending look to come.
Eventually, the pace and music slowed as the models exited the stage save for a handful of dreamers still in search of whatever motivates one to get lost and escape in the first place but looking no worse for the wear after their heavy trip.
Marcelo Burlon of County of Milan was also in a trippy mood as he enveloped his show space room floor to ceiling in a blue and black distorted and “warped” flower textile pattern created by Mirko Borsche (it looked a bit like houndstooth to give a sense). Anchored in the middle of the room was an enormous reflective silver mylar orb which took 24 hours to inflate according to a brand rep. Everything and everyone was cast in blue.
The club-like space is a no-brainer for the creator whose CV and lifestyle list party organizer, DJ, creative director, photographer, nightlife fixture among others. And he clearly knows his tribe and the codes they abide by; the youthful raver but maybe one who wants to class things up a bit.
Borsche’s warped flower pattern opened and closed the show on a trench and appeared throughout in varied color combos on everything from shorts to bombers which recalled the clothes matching the car scene from the Mel Brooks classic film “High Anxiety”. As for the bomber jacket, Burlon demonstrated there is more than one way to skin a jacket – they came trimmed in shearing, patched, a true houndstooth, oil slick and folk motifs for example – which added to the consistency in the collection. Mainly these were paired with workwear pants a la Dickies or the kind distributed for janitorial or fast-food service uniforms. That irony spilled over to the sneakers which were done in collaboration with Caterpillar.
The 1959 version of “I only have eyes for you” by the Flamingos flowed through the air as guests arrived and took their seats at the No. 21 show Saturday morning. The song oozes the same faint sensuality often displayed in designer Alessandro Dell’ Acqua’s work
This season his focal
point was the back or lack there-of as sweater were cut up to the shoulders
revealing the toned posteriors of his male models. (To a lesser degree he
featured the mid-riff with crop tops worn under jackets). He infused femininity
with an olive-green masculine lace T-shirt.
The drab hue worked back to the military mood that juxtaposed this softer man. Great trenches (with sensually belted waists) and a shearling collar jacket displayed a No. 21 logo that was both bold and understated. Long straps perhaps inspired by webbing parachute straps dangled from fatigue-style pants and technical nylon fabric camo-print on blouson shaped anoraks and parkas furthered the message. Out of uniform, the No. 21 guy had a bevy of fuzzy Teddy-boy styled sweaters to choose from.
Like the designer, the clothes whisper a cool quiet elegance that may not always get the notice they deserve. However ironic, the designer changed his tune and closed the show with Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” not so subtly suggesting so is fashion.