June 22, 2012 Milan
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.