Marni has evolved into a staple formula that has moved from the eccentric margins to become one of the brands upon which Italy's pride as a style leader rests. Consuelo Castiglioni's taste in arty textiles, lately sharpened up with an injection of shiny techno surfaces, is absorbed by the mainstream within nanosecondsa double-edged compliment many designers would kill for. How's she reacting to that pressure? Apparently by blanking it.
Instead of rushing forward, Castiglioni took the don't-mess-with-success approach for Spring. Her easy-on-the-body loose-waisted shifts with their wonky-but-right abstract gathers and tucks have been seen before, though each merits praise as a one-off canvas for an exceptional print. This time, the color register ran through forest-y and watery greens to purple, mustard, grays, browns, cornflower and iris bluesonly interrupted by a short blast of fluorescent orange somewhere in the middle. That inevitably drew the restless eye to seek out the things that are different in this collection. Qualifiers in that category were the stark white dress with plastic stones implanted in the neckline, cute petaled cone hats, tinsel bags, and the sharp half-moon sunglasses, which might jolt the market for giant face-covering shades in a new direction. Otherwise, Castiglioni didn't seem overly concerned with breaking too much new ground. That's sound from a brand-consistency point of view, though it slightly dashed the hopes of a crowd hungry for stop-the-press news out of Milan.