A print headscarf topping every look and clunky Birkenstock-alike sandals underfoot: Marni was undeniably on the folk-wagon for spring. Then again, Consuelo Castiglioni's been adeptly creating madcap, eccentric mixes of print and shape for many a year, let alone season, so this look was common ground for her. As far as Marni goes, it was a restrained offering - mixing easy, matte silk separates decorated with pintucked bibs or pie-crust frills around sleeves and across shoulders in subdued shades of plaster pink, limoncello, earthy brown and stone grey. These are all the colours of a heady Tuscan summer, and on review those headscarves looked like something an Italian peasant might wear; ditto the antique-looking earrings and mother-of-pearl embroideries, and the baggy grey support-stockings poking out from sandals. On the ever-youthful catwalk models, Marni's topsy-turvy layering of garments with granny styling looked quirky, but as always, there was plenty for an older and more affluent core of customers once the accessory tricks were stripped away. Soft, contrast facing in geometric patterned crepe or salt-and-pepper tweed looked terrific on silken jackets cinched with self-tie webbing belts, likewise the oversized boucle overcoat sliced into panels at the side with big lapels folding across the body. Tailoring in mustard or olive linen was easily cut and buttoned in brass, while macro-prints of naive flower outlines and classic polka-dots were simple but effective contrasts to the blocks of colour. In a first for the house, Castiglioni even tried her hand at body-con, not only in cycling shorts and leggings under her relaxed silk, but taut knit skirts in peppermint humbug stripes pulled high under the ribcage and wrapped with one of those judo belts. To the knee, and with simply-cut tops blousing out above them, they looked polished yet effortless, and above all new. Young or old, women the world over will want to emulate that.
In a first for the house, Castiglioni even tried her hand at body-con.