Given the two vibes hard at work on the ground here in Milan, namely, sixties and minimalism, Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni must have found herself at a crossroads, namely, the temptation to indulge in the aesthetic of the decade most readily concurrent with the whimsical, print-heavy DNA of her brand and its seeming opposite. In the end, she chose minimalism, stripping the majority of her garments from the textiles and textures for which she is so known, allowing us to see that beneath all the bells and whistles that draw the fash pack to Marni like moths to a street style flame, that cut, play of proportion and pattern, not print, is the underpinning of the excellence of her craft.
Nonetheless, the show still began with layers of square-printed-basketweave effect mix and match prints in quintessential Marni shapes. A print yes, but one that struck a minimalist chord, towing the line of referencing Modernist art. Generous of cut and brilliantly balanced of proportion, A-line skirts were worn with oversized tee-shirts with sleeves that his just at the elbow and coat dresses. After the opening assortment, the prints left the silver runway all together and we were presented an in-depth treatment of monochrome, letting the silhouettes do the talking. And what they told us, subtly but strongly, was that Castiglioni is a designer who has mastered the innovation of the contemporary couture cut.
There were fit and flare mid-calf dresses, pleated peplums elongated off hips and dresses with deep V-backs. Mixed separates in pale pastel shades rendered in voluminous leather, but cut with the same relaxed precision as fabric, also appeared, sure to be instant updates on classic daywear that will appeal to customers both young and old. With fashion so much about styling, embellishing and accessorising these days, designers who create something fresh by simply cutting clothes and shying away from accoutrements are few and far between. Today, as the brand enters its eighteenth year, the Marni girl became the Marni woman. Coming of age with such poise and sophistication, but without losing touch with her youth and inner feminine-spirit, I know I speak for the majority of those in this morning’s house when I say, we can’t wait to see where this stylish lady will be off to next.