Since Marni recently took over an old factory as its new multipurpose venue in Milan, it was tempting to see the huge industrial space as an influence on its menswear for Spring 2014, the first collection to be shown in Spazio Marni. "Industrial" was the word that Consuelo Castiglioni came back to when she was talking about the utilitarian spirit of the clothes: the huge parkas, the zips and ribbed waistbands, the sleeveless blazer, the snap-on details (like the apron on a pair of shorts), the flat, dry fabrics. But there's always a curious duality in Castiglioni's clothes for both men and women. They're never exactly as they seem. Those parkas, for instance: Their volume was capelike, almost romantic in an odd way. The utility was tweaked with a sporty spirit that felt fresh for Marni, as in an oversize, soft-shouldered bomber or a jacket with raglan sleeves in denim. A print of big polka dots was actually placed (technically complex, the very definition of a private pleasure for print cognoscenti; a pleasingly bold graphic for everyone else). And, however solemn the clothes appeared, they were superlight to the touch.

Marni's menswear is usually subtle to the point of barely there insinuation, but this season, with the women's Resort collection in a showroom on the other side of Milan by way of comparison, there was a real sense of integration, and maybe even momentum. Barely there insinuation looked, for once, like hidden strength.