After an emotional 20-year anniversary celebration for Marni last season, with a flower market dedicated to the nature that designer Consuelo Castiglioni holds so dear, what could she possibly do as an encore?
The answer was to go back to the label’s roots.
When Marni started to make clothes as sweet as birdsong in heavyweight Armani v. Versace, Gucci v. Prada Milan, the designer worked with her husband’s fur company.
“I never left fur,” said Consuelo backstage, as she was congratulated by Renzo Rosso of Only The Brave, the parent group which now backs her company.
But we have never seen Marni’s fur like this: cut in geometric squares to use on sleeves or coat pockets, the outerwear going down to calf length and otherwise minimal in shape and decoration.
Then there were the colours: against a mainly neutral background, a flesh-pink pair of pockets or wine-red cuffs would dress the streamlined outfit — but without breaking either the clean lines or the spirit of simplicity.
The length was the other key element. There is a clear move downwards in fashion for Winter 2015, and Consuelo made it credible. Not that the designer has ever shown anything vulgar or sexed-up. But many women are still shy about lengthening hemlines.
The Marni touch was to include long, wide trousers, therefore illuminating any hint of the hippie Seventies. The skirts, especially when cut asymmetrically, looked more contrived.
But it is the strength of Marni to get everything from bold earrings to middle-heel sandals just right. Not to mention the touch — literally and metaphorically — of fur.