Marni for Fall was a rich, dark layering of texture and iridescence pulled together with a unique, brisk, and realistic elegance. Quite how Consuelo Castiglioni does this is hard to convey, because the list of components can read like a recipe for wild and eccentric confusion. For starters, there were mink earmuffs and trapper hats, fur mitts and ski gloves, goggle sunglasses, garlands of antiqued gold flowers, woolly checkered tights, and stacks of bangles. The clothes, too, were a description-defying conglomeration of fabric, fur, and knit: grid-patterned metallic brocade, plain felts, patchworked jacquards, evergreen fox, chintzy roses.
For all that, Castiglioni's deft handling of palette and proportion made this one of her most controlled collections yet, as well as a distinct step away from the loose-lined assemblages she often deals out. That was down to the simplicity of shape and the sporty elements woven into the mix. Squared-off boxy coats and tunic dresses were interspersed with subtle interpretations of jogging pants and parkas. One tweed coat with a fur panel in the back came with a protective parka shell to peel away and tie casually at the hips. In total, this qualifies as one of Milan's most inspiring collections, refreshingly carried off without a hint of backward-looking reference and considered in a way that achieved a rare balance between creativity and reality. These clothes don't demand any stretch of the imagination to see exactly how, and where, they'll be worn.