Marni has recently graduated from the showroom to the catwalk. Up until last season, Consuelo Castiglioni showed her menswear quietly and modestly on racks. But she’d clearly got the runway bug after a special presentation at last season’s Pitti L’Uomo trade show in Florence. Marni is an intriguing case study - popularly seen as one of fashion’s ‘cerebral’ or ‘intellectual’ brands, it’s actually remarkably wearable, sellable and readable. There were no scary clothes on today’s runway. So did it stand up to the catwalk platform? Yes, but not in the usual way. It didn’t shock or delight, instead it appealed, quietly and politely. Indeed, it wouldn’t be the Marni way to distract and amuse with a few gratuitous show pieces. The label instead is about soft dynamism, subtle points of interest - for S/S 16 they included swirling floral prints, exaggerated collars and shirt sleeves with elastic band details allowing cuffs to be arranged and styled to the wearer’s liking.
The show notes talked of the collection being the result of ‘a natural amalgamation of different worlds.’ Lots of designers have been tipping their caps to globalisation this season, paying tribute to their various shoppers. Marni’s well-travelled, cultured man was different to those on neighbouring runways. He wasn’t a global man in the shiny sense of the term, not a polished traveller, more a man between places, between styles, looking around himself and borrowing, amalgamating but not appropriating (unlike a lot of what we’ve seen this season in Milan). Some will have found his character too meek and relatable for the runway, but there’s room for less shouting on the catwalks. Just because he didn’t clamour, doesn’t mean he didn’t surprise. Some jackets came with stripes running right down the back along the centre seam. But look closely and some were just a little bit off centre - slightly off kilter, just like Marni should be.