By  on October 27, 2008

Consuelo Castiglioni zigszags through the Marni showroom on a balmy Friday morning while several retailers are entrenched in finalizing spring orders. As they rise to compliment the petite designer on her spring lineup, the ever-shy Castiglioni thanks them, but is noticeably uncomfortable in the spotlight, preferring her clothes to speak for her.

As evidenced by her most recent collection, there is no doubt they say volumes. Milan’s calm waters erupted into waves as the designer sent out mismatched jelly bean brights, patterns and intricate fabrics with techy finishes. She focused on slimmer silhouettes, often layered and belted, and topped with men’s-style long socks and colorful sunglasses. Castiglioni mixed large-scale lace dots, awning stripes, cutout basket weaves and blurry ginghams, all served  up to create her signature kooky effect. She also emphasized combinations of matte and shiny finishes, or argyle patterns with macro florals and wool vests over T-shirts splattered with prints by Sixties British artist Peter Blake. The designer can’t resist an I-did-it-first dig by pointing out her use of Richard Prince prints on T-shirts in her spring 2007 collection, a year before Marc Jacobs tapped the acclaimed American artist for a collaboration on Louis Vuitton bags.)

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