The magical mash-up that is ‘owned’ by Marni has been copied all over, but whether it comes and goes as a trend, Consuelo Castiglione’s great achievement is that she always finds a new way to say it.
This season Marni Woman started out in a red cape coat, the type a modern Little Red Riding Hood might wear, with cropped trousers, patent flatforms (one of two new shoe shapes) a cream blouse beneath and a neat handle-hold beige bag. Her hair, a blunt bob and fringe was of the Rooney Mara variety, seen everywhere from Calvin Klein to Versace.
On the design spectrum, Marni sits bang in the middle of those aforementioned designers, between Klein’s minimalism and Versace’s sex. Yes, Marni is sexy – to a certain sort of woman who uses colour and eccentricity as her tools of seduction rather than boobs, nipped waist and acres of leg.
She wanted a more architectural silhouette, explained Castiglione backstage. ‘I like the volume, it’s very feminine but in a boy’s shape.’ Through that, she worked in the texture and colour that mashed shiny jacquards with fur (striped and checked), shiny patents in mustard or black, thickly embroidered gold flowers, chunky tweeds in pink and orange, prints of thistles or a single giant red tulip…
The key new Marni pieces are the knee-length skirt pleated at the front like a knife-sharp fan, the cropped trouser, the cape coat, the block-coloured shirt dress and the belted jacket with enormous pockets. As for the statement bags and shoes, Miss Marni will not be disappointed: a miniature doctor’s bag stood out and the high ankle strap shoe that sometimes glinted with a golden heel.
Was Castiglione thinking of a certain era? Traces of the 1930s and 1960s, perhaps?
‘Not at all,’ she said. Of course not, Marni is a thoroughly modern mash-up.