Perhaps it was something as mundane as utility that tripped up Consuelo Castiglioni's men's collection in recent seasons. There was once such a winsome quality to the line. And then it became a lose-some/winsome, strictly pragmatic offering. That is not to say it didn't have its own arcane appeal, but it was interesting to come to Marni
's latest show for men and find a utilitarian directness that also embraced some of the wayward spirit that makes the women's collection so enduringly fascinating. Prints, for example, always a staple, were in-your-face strong, as an ink splash or a paint stroke or a childlike floral. The signature ingenuity was evident in a suit jacket that reversed to what could pass for a hiking jacket. There were full, floaty dusters adding a different kind of volume to a collection whose visual presentation has too often seemed targeted at pigeon-chested ephebes. Castiglioni had French model Vincent LaCrocq photographed for her new lookbook, and that, at least, could be construed as an acknowledgment that it is, in fact, men who wear Marni. And such potential customers would presumably be gratified by clothes that flattered masculine gravitas. Even the regatta-striped shorts punched above their weight.