Marni Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Runway: Meet the Couture Flintstones

Why did Francesco Risso invite Ye — formerly known as Kanye West and by now nearly as synonymous with antisemitic remarks and erratic behavior as music — to his fall Marni show?

It was an SMH moment before the show as guests filed in and saw the rapper and his wife Bianca Censori seated in the venue, which was done up like a cave lined with crinkled white paper. Photographers and Instagram influencers swarmed them for content.

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“He’s a dear friend for a long time. He’s a client as well, so he just came in,” Risso said backstage.

Renzo Rosso, Marni’s owner and the boss of Italian fashion group OTB, repeated the sentiment and also shrugged off any inference of controversy.

After the show, a row of surly guards barred journalists from the backstage area while facilitating the entry of West, Censori and their sizable entourage.

It was a tense, telling moment and distracted from one of Risso’s best collections for Marni yet — and one of the most original fashion statements seen so far this Milan season, largely bogged down in ’90s retreads.

The cave-like setting made one think of “The Flintstones” emulating a midcentury couture salon.

Risso gave elementary shapes — cocoons, trapezes and tabards — considerable drama by employing stiff fabrics, hairy surfaces and hand-painting that at times evoked the dreamy, wondrous mood of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”

Risso has made rawness a new code for Marni, marking its 30th anniversary this year, and here he didn’t disguise the skin and shaggy hair of shearlings, raggedly pieced together into coarse-but-cool coats, or molded around the head, bringing to mind barrister wigs. As a counterpoint, he paraded sleek leather capes and buttonless men’s suits with a glazed, futuristic élan.

In prepping this collection, Risso said he papered over his studio, windows included, as he did the vaulted show space, “to lose all the reference points” and create a blank slate. His collection notes, roughly typed, went further: “We have returned to an almost animal state.”

The designer said he also banned images from his studio “because we are overstimulated by images all the time. And we don’t have the time to reflect on them.”

Perhaps he should have paid some attention to the media furor around his celebrity guest?

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Launch Gallery: Marni Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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