Marni / Jason Lloyd Evans

Amidst a fairly prim Fashion Week backdrop, Marni ain't content to play it safe. Creative director Francesco Risso went all-in on Spring/Summer 2024, mixing basically every pattern that's ever existed into a mélange of maximalist contrast.

The most exciting thing about the recent SS24 runway shows has been a surge in visible underwear and saucy office clothes — might sound pretty outré but the majority of the collections are actually quite tame. Sure, there's some sex appeal but, by and large, we're talking about fairly rote clothes.

Not so at Marni, which sent models down the runway in sculptural gowns made of what look like layers of XXXL strawberry stickers, mohair cardigans that end at the navel, and more patterns than a wardrobe full of bad '70s suits.

Marni's high-powered color clash isn't garish, though, it's fun.

The upset dress codes, which see screamingly loud plaid peacoats, slashed Prince of Wales skirts, and see-through slips all mingling together, make for so much noise that it ends up being overwhelming. You can't fight against it, just give in to the chaos.

Marni's show notes read like a poetic ode to getting dressed, a celebration of the personality inherent to anyone willing to play with color, fabric, shape, and hue.

The author is anonymous but it could be anyone who gleefully succumbs to Marni's insouciant siren song.

"Woven into jacquards or patchworked into tanned leathers, checks become a map in the pockets of a trench-coat, unused – because the purpose is the search," it says. "The way we dress, the things we like. They’re with us, on our skin – close to our bodies, almost undressed."

This subversive savoir faire speaks to Marni's innate allure. The Italian luxury label has always empowered power dressing and demonstrated how good taste conquers all, even bad taste.

Because if it's wrong to mix patterns, if it's wrong to uplift, update, and upend retro kitsch, then Marni ain't interested in being right.

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