The resolutely low-key personality of Marni's menswear is occasionally a drag, especially given the wayward creativity of its female counterpart. You find yourself pouncing compensatorily on incremental changes like they were something precious, when often they are merely "precious." But the Spring 2013 collection rocked that placid little boat with its invigoratingly strong and coherent through line.

And lines—and stripes—were what it was all about. The straight silhouette was elongated still further by the high closing of three-buttoned jackets. Striped cotton shirting was reconfigured as a parka, as the sleeves on knitwear, as a lining for jackets or trouser waistbands, which were designed to be folded down. That last detail had the kind of utilitarian edge that is a signature of Marni menswear. It was even more obvious in a worker's uniform of an indigo shirt and elasticated-waist pants, overdyed to give a light-absorbing depth of color.

One feature of the collection that harked back to low-key Marni was the subtle use of sophisticated technical details. The band of color around the hem of natural canvas jeans was actually a placed print, an extraordinarily evolved way to achieve a relatively simple effect. Shirt collars were laser-cut, jackets cut on the bias for added texture. The label's famous fabric research yielded a nylon that did persuasive double duty as cotton jersey sweatshirting. Bonding added substance but not stiffness to a cotton mac and leather jacket. Not quite as subtle but still impressive were chunky-looking oxfords that were almost as light as a feather.

It wasn't just the lines; the collection also got a graphic kick in the ass from its prints, which played across shirts, tees, and cotton canvas suiting. Consuelo Castiglioni had fallen in love with Wild Animals, a picture book by Dutch artist Rop van Mierlo, from which she borrowed a handful of images for tees. She also commissioned an exclusive original. The creature she chose was the ostrich. With which thought we leave you.