Although everyone seems to be all eyes on Gucci this Milan Fashion Week, mine are firmly on the two M’s of Italian Fashion Houses, Marni and Missoni… Mainly because I love bold colours, shapes and patterns, which there are plenty of from Marni and Missoni AW16 shows, even though they are in completely different directions. I have fallen in love with Marni particularly because of its Romantic but Modern design direction combined with contrasting bold colour palettes and a playful sculptural proportions, resulted in a collection that oozes effortless elegance, practical and sophisticated all at the same time! Practical because the optical illusion created by layering capes or jumpers with oval arc hems revealing a contrasting colour blouse underneath and a low-waisted trousers gave the illusion of longer legs without having to wear heels. Genius!! A trick which can easily be adopted for everyday wear, even with basic high street items.
Another fantastic optical illusion was the oversize puffy balloon sleeve details between elbow and wrist drawing the eyes away from the biceps making them look skinny. Although this detail was a reference to a Victorian Romantic era, it looked completely modern here at Marni. I was completely inspired by how Consuelo Castiglioni managed to make this often old-fashioned detail – which could easily look dated and overdone – into something so modern by the simple use of plain contrasting colours, or fabric with strong geometric patterns, paired with glossy plastic jewellery such as large spherical earrings or giant circular discs in strong primary colours. The overall sculptural shape created from these combinations are very beautiful and so flattering at the same time. Since I have a white Victorian blouse with puffy sleeves sitting around in my wardrobe, which I hardly wear because I am not sure how to wear it on a normal day, without looking like a character from a Shakespeare play or an outfit deemed only suitable for costume party, I am definitely going to try out Marni’s strategy this coming Autumn so that my Victorian blouse can finally be put to good use!
Consuelo Castiglioni even takes the play on colour blocking and primary geometrical shapes further by extending the concepts to its set design of pastel yellow playground with giant cylindrical columns, rectangular blocks for seating, and circular wall cut outs, dominating over a rough dilapidated concrete space. The impact of the combined architectural and fashion concept was a dramatic show, which completely transports its audience to a quirky imaginative world of twisted romanticism with a strong direction of what the modern Marni is all about.