Marni is having a moment - their expansive but inexpensive collaboration with retailer H&M slides into stores worldwide on 8 March, and the first Marni perfume is set to launch in the autumn. Suffice to say, now would be a suitable time for any designer to rest on their laurels and rake in on the fact that the rest of the world seems to have caught up with what they're trying to say.
Not so Consuela Castiglione, who decided not to continue on her crazy-paved path of Marni eccentricity, but to sharpen up her woman and kick the Marni look up a notch. The sixties were her stropping ground, both the sharpness of Courreges and Cardin evoked in wipe-clean high-shine patent leather and boxy mini-skirts, and the softer nostalgia of Ossie Clark's massed moss-crepe sprayed with pattern. Neither left much room for Marni's trademark jumble of pattern, print and texture - although, in actual fact, we got all three, with matchy-matchy pyjama suits in dandelion-sketched print, clustered sequin blooms and mink collars atop brocade two-pieces fit for Helena Rubinstein in her later, eccentric Balenciaga years.
The firmer grip on silhouettes and reality in this collection stood Marni in good stead. People can easily get tired of looking like a cookie-cutter eccentric clone of Gray Gardens' Little Edie, even Marni's clients - who generally consider support-hose and orthopaedic shoes a life-long fashion statement rather than just a Halloween hijink. In every Marni collection, there are a few garments that trickle down from the wacky wardrobes of said fashion fruit-loops to mere mortals, who team them with a nice pair of black trousers to wear to the office. This time, Marni even offered those black trousers. Very nice the whole thing looked too.