June 25, 2007
No one could ever accuse Consuelo Castiglione of lacking a sense of humor. For spring, the Marni designer offered the perfect simulacrum of the kind of outfit a particular species of Englishman might wear to the beach on a cloudy day: dark-gray knit top, long navy shorts, socks, and sandals. And, in fact, that outfit touched most of the bases of the collection. The shoe of choice was indeed the sandal, and the palette was a resolutely sober symphony of grays and blues. (One wag in the audience suggested that the clothes would be better viewed through the piece of pink acetate included with the invitationit would've added a healthy tinge to a collection that was subdued to the point of summer-denial.) The little-boy edge of the shorts with socks was amplified by tiny Peter Pan collars on shirts. Shrunken tailoring extended the notion. And it was a tad disappointing to find almost none of Marni's cultish signature shirt prints on the catwalk. There was one that featured brushstrokes or shadows, another a broken grid on a shiny graphite. Where the house remained most true to its spirit was in outré fabrics like techno paper (for shirts) or the nylon that was used in blazers and cabans. And the most promising accessories were the sunglasses, which sported a vintage sci-fi feel.