The test of a designer's true popularity is the number of industry professionals who turn up to her show wearing her clothes, and by 10 a.m., as the audience assembled in Consuelo Castiglioni's edge-to-edge coats, egg-shaped dresses, quirky sweaters, and clumpy heels, the gathering looked like a Marni convention. They got what they came for: a collection of simple-seeming but ingeniously cut pieces, sharpened with a new dash of sportiness and accented with shots of bright patent to modernize the neutrals of spring.
Castiglioni worked on the tough-to-wear difficulties inherent in the concepts of "volume" and graphic tunic-dressing that surfaced in last winter's round of collections. Her to-the-knee tunics were pulled in at the front with a threaded-through chunky belt that then left the back to float free. Under that, she put cropped sport-leggings and high, patent-leather, wood-block clogs.
Marni's signature dropped-shoulder looks and circular cuts were made up in light, papery, waffled, and coated fabrics in shades of white, stone, slate gray, and plaster, and there was a re-introduction of printssome commissioned from the artist Richard Prince. The negative here was a slackness in the edit, and to non-converts, much of it came over as predictable. Still, the faithful left happy andas is customary with Castiglioni the news from her show (this season it's going to be the breezy anoraks and sporty pieces) will carry far. Afterward, asked how she feels about being so widely copied, she smiled: "It's a bit not nice. But in a way, it's a compliment."