Marni menswear treads softly and carries a big stick, its unshowy subtleties inspiring an almost irrational devotion in a small, but growing, band of disciples. Those acolytes will be pleased to know that the Spring collection sees a return of Marni's signature vintage-looking prints, slightly toned down but still with a graphic edge that brings to mind curtain fabric in the Bates Motel (and all the more irresistible for it).
Displayed in a showroom rather than on a runway, these clothes featured a wealth of the arcane detail that Marni-ites expect. One dart on a tailored jacket opened at the bottom to create a hidden pocket. Cashmere knits were worn inside out, which lent them a slightly fuzzed texture. Fabric treatments gave gabardine a sheeny tonic effect. Jackets and coats folded into little bags, pac-a-mac style. And cotton shirts had drawstring hems, a tidy option for men who like to leave their shirttails flapping.
These quietly skewed touches are a big part of Marni's appeal, the
sartorial equivalent to a secret handshake. And the fact that more and more men are succumbing to the cult is obvious from the burgeoning range of accessories, functional here in big canvas totes, almost glamorous in leather bags with a coated finish.