Why did Marni want to show in Tokyo? “The synchronisation with this culture is about being inspired by how much sacrifice there is in disciplining, learning, making. Here, they’re masters of that,” Francesco Risso said before taking over the Yoyogi National Gymnasium for the second stop on his Marni world tour: a meet-the-customer excursion designed to connect with Marni’s communities around the world. “I came here right after the New York show,” he said, referring to last season’s first stop on the tour. “It was so refreshing. I felt this sense of patience and calm. I told my team, we need to make things that mirror the value of our job, which is about patience, practice, years of experience. Not logo sweatshirts and a statement and your business is done. No! There’s zero longevity in that.”
Risso drew on the virtues of Japanese culture and craft – permanence, patience, proficiency – in a collection he described as a more rigorous take on Marni. “I feel an urge to find a way of making something born not to be a futile object – not to be a waste – but which can last in time. In a way, it’s a sense of rigour but not the harsh kind; a rigour that makes us reflect.” He expressed it in a boxy, almost cartoon gangster-like tailoring silhouette painted in graphic polka dots and checks, which eventually exploded into super-tactile padded jackets and coats. The same motifs bombarded dresses that played with evening lines, from peplumed cocktail numbers to skimpy ‘60s shapes.
The show was a Risso spectacular: dressed in white paper outfits, the Tokyo Chamber Orchestra climbed a round podium draped in white cloth and performed a dramatic piece directed by Dev Hynes – led by a huge Japanese drum and backed up by electric synthesisers – before a choir sung in the finale from the gymnasium’s bleachers. Post-show, Risso – a Tokyo connoisseur, who used to come here three to four times a year before the pandemic – treated guests to dinner at Trunk (Hotel) Onden before we danced the night away at Enter & Music Bar Lion with DJ sets by Acyde, KZM, Jun Inagawa, Mimi Xu, Wondagurl, Frost Children, Kerwin Frost, Reiji Okamoto and Youth Quake.
Photography courtesy of Marni.