It’s often been considered that Marni dresses the intelligent woman. For a fashion house recognized by its cerebral quality, sensuality has never been at the front line of its design. But for Autumn/Winter 2019, creative designer Francesco Risso decided to explore a new form of seduction in character with the thinking woman: neuro-eroticism.

Entitled “Neuroerotik,” the collection was premised by the notion that women are governed by, according to the show notes, “the eroticism of body language and the mysterious plan of neuro-connection.” Perhaps in layman’s terms, it addressed the duality of the irrational (emotions) and the rational (the science behind emotions). But at least on the runway, it translated to designs of clear contrast. For the colour palette, there were the stoic, cool neutrals set against severe panels of red; for the textiles, geometric plaids and pixel prints met with fluid, flowing silks.

It was a difficult collection defined by mixed elements and mixed messages. But there were clearer moments of Marni’s clever, quirky design, such as the long, ivory silk tunic dress embellished with wedding rings, that broke through the opacity.