The paradox of fall's lush severity reemerged in Marni's Resort collection—not as lush, not as severe, but still precisely structured, controlled—and still nibbling at paradox. Or maybe it was just Consuelo Castiglioni's natural affection for eccentricity that inspired her to line a sophisticated jacket in double-face wool crepe with worn-looking white cotton, or hem a suit, also crepe, in a thick wool fringe, or leave the collar unfinished on an otherwise lush brocade coat. A collection founded on one of Castiglioni's most impressively straightforward celebrations of femininity was undercut by the distinctly masculine slouch of a parka or an almost-military coat, and what might almost pass for a tracksuit. At a pinch, the bags (a cyclist's satchel) and sandals had a kind of no-fuss athleticism.

On the whole, though, what stood out most was an intense womanliness. The designer was partial to a boxy tunic shape cinched over skirts or pants at the waist—or slightly higher—with a bowed belt. Skirts fell straight, just below the knee, or flared out peasant style. Add an elbow-length sleeve, and the effect was sleek enough that it made even a bordering-on-kitsch wallpaper-y print look like the height of sophistication. The richness and darkness of the color palette helped, too.