Francesco Risso’s traveling runway is testament to the house’s global reach, and its alignment with Japan’s design affinities

Marni’s traveling fair just hit Tokyo—the latest stop on its itinerant runway. Francesco Risso set the series in motion last September, hosting a show beneath New York’s Joralemon Tunnel; he’s embarking on a world tour, presenting each new collection in a new city, returning eventually to Milan, the luxury label’s birthplace.

Tokyo was far from a random choice. “To be sure,” reported WWD, “Japan is historically one of Marni’s most important markets,” accounting for a good chunk of its overall customer base. Beyond that, the creative director feels a kinship with the city: its cultural gray areas, its traditional architecture, its artistic affinities.

Fall/Winter 2023 was staged expansively, under a vaulted ceiling, the ground swathed in white fabric with a full orchestra at its center. The blank slate it provided—its air of classicism—contrasted brilliantly with Risso’s designs: rich yellows and reds, alongside black-and-white, checkered or dotted or both at once. Suiting was rendered playful, or even surreal; collared shirts and suit jackets were structured but oversized, or else cartoonishly padded. Knee-high socks went mismatched, and puffers trailed off shoulders.

The presentation was testament to Marni’s rising star, under the helm of Risso—as well as the success of its good-natured approach to high fashion. “I think we’ve seen enough [cynicism] and Brutalism,” he said a few months back, upon the announcement of this Fall/Winter show. “My mission is to dress people, and I am not working with blinkers. I think about what surrounds us, but I also aim to create a world that is comfortable, and that will give pleasure.”