The second collaboration between Francesco Risso and Uniqlo has been unveiled in a vibration-raising line of basics

Beloved by low-key fashion fans who like to say the words “HeatTech” and “Japanese design”, Uniqlo has today announced another collaboration with Francesco Risso of Marni, which will officially launch on December 1. It’s an unlikely romance – Uniqlo’s world is one of neutral scaffolding and drop shoulder t-shirts, while Marni’s is one of carnivalesque knitwear, scribbly prints, and subversive denim… the kind of bolshy maximalism that fans of light-weight down jackets could so easily baulk at. But it’s a relationship that’s yielded fruits: the collaboration first launched earlier this year and the second iteration has just been unveiled on the backs of Paloma Elsesser and Jess Maybury. 

Clingy columns and bodysuits come emblazoned with vibration-raising stripes; headscarves and leggings have been covered in painterly swirls of brown and orange; and XXL scarves trail behind models like Marni’s signature droop-sleeves. “Through this collection, I wanted to investigate the aesthetic perception of the 60s, flirting with cliches. Patterns continue to inform everyone’s idea of Marni, as they sit at the core of our vocabulary and identify our graphic language,” Risso said. “This time, though, we transposed those psychedelic patterns onto garments that unapologetically define the body, creating an enigmatic interplay of prints and anatomy to define the silhouette.”

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Kaleidoscopic and a little kitsch, Uniqlo and Marni have managed to create a line of clothing that some people would probably call “dopamine dressing”. “It felt as though the collection matched the needs of people looking for fashion that allowed them to get rid of the oppressive mood of recent years,” Yukihiro Katsuta said, who is head of research and development at Uniqlo. “The theme this season is the joy of being wrapped up and was expressed through products synonymous with winter.” But it also provides an accessible entry point into Francesco Risso’s (expensive) imagination, luring lovers of mock-neck basics into his cult of freako fashions.