Unless you are a fully committed follower of Consuelo Castiglioni's studied eccentricity, the art of wearing Marni has to be subtraction. It's a fact evident amongst the crowd shuffling into the early morning show, checking out each other's clothes (the usual tribal preliminary at every gathering). Here is proof that a striking piece of shearling, a knit with a singular color, a fur accessory, and so on can be proudly carried off by chic women whose personal style has nothing to do with the full-time Marni freaks.
This season, the subtractors might have to work a little harder. As total looks, this collection had some wacky ideas: big, jazzy seventies upholstery-type patterns smothered all over suits and matching bags; tops with 3-D stand-out peplums over bulky skirts; and Bermudas, Bermudas all the way, even one pair with bias flares at the knees. Still, for the gimlet-eyed shopper, there were, as always, gems to be smuggled out of this collection, the kind she can wear in the safe knowledge that they're not going to add 15 pounds and a slight look of the unhinged to her appearance. Two skirts in aqua wool, one cut in a circle and the other with a flirtatious flip in the back; the perforated leather boots; and the richly pailletted tops, as well as the fur-front vests—these could all be effectively deployed to perk up a normal wardrobe.
There's no doubt that the Marni sense of color is exceptional—and a big part of the attraction, as it makes for favorite pieces with a long life. This time, Castiglioni's palette—brown (the shade of milk chocolate) and ocher, dusty pink and oxblood red, and that zinging bright turquoise green—was, as always, beautiful and artistically chosen.