Calm excess — a powerful, if perplexing, contrast. For Consuelo Castiglioni, the contradiction played into a beautiful Marni collection, its bountiful flights of fancy executed with exquisite control.
“Silencing the urge to minimize…,” the show notes stated, “a romantic territory while keeping restraint and austerity as guiding principles.”
The designer eased herself into excess, starting out with several serene but snappy black-and-white looks before venturing into measured decorative play. There may have been little austerity in the countless ruffles, heavy floral appliqués and jewel adornments that followed, but the exuberance of detail never turned heavy.
That’s because Castiglioni worked an impressive form of self-discipline as her guiding principle. She placed ruffles on the waist of a chic dress, for example, adding just the right amount of volume to give it an insouciant charm. A sportif bomber jacket and pencil skirt were heavily decked out in deep green and black stones, the effect dazzling yet sophisticated. As for the prints — large leaves and florals — they were demonstrative in a manner that will translate well into women’s wardrobes.
Castiglioni’s silhouettes were often relaxed and easy. Here and there, a Japanese vibe came through — a kimono treatment; some of the ruffles — but subtly so.
For unadulterated whimsy, there were jeweled Geisha-esque wedge sandals, visors and fanny packs. The latter was surely excessive — an amusing punctuation to a chic collection.