Consuelo Castiglioni’s early Marni collections sometimes looked like the artlessly lovely results of a girl’s home dressmaking classes, but she has moved on from all those seasons of naïve rosebud cottons, evolving to a point of graceful accomplishment. And while her work has always been distinguished by her affection for vintage-style fabrics and love of color and print, she also knows how to work those feelings in the right seasonal direction. For spring, she conjured a delightfully easy, nonliteral look out of the current obsession with the fifties.
A salmon pink-striped three-quarter sleeved coat opened the show, worn over a silky skirt in beige with white polka dots. Another coat, this one in lime, came with the polka dots billowing out from a loose lining. The deft color mixesteal, turquoise, mint, raspberry, biscuit, and silverlooked mouth-watering, as did the prints: amusing versions of scribbly fifties curtain material, made into witty plastic swimsuits and canvas duffel bags.
The Marni twistquite literallycame in the curved cutting and piecing techniques Castiglioni used to skew the retro silhouette, producing intriguingly puffy, rounded sleeves and dropped shoulder lines in jackets and coats; sexy, narrow bias-cut striped pants; and subtly rethought T-shirts and knits. But for all the experimentationwhich also showed up in the technically enhanced, laundered couture fabricsthis was a collection that made summer dressing look beautiful and effortless.