Marni: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week turned up on the runway at Marni. The fur house delivered a terrific lineup that was everything fur isn’t supposed to be — hip, young and spare. While the label itself may be little-known, Marni belongs to Ciwifurs, a third-generation manufacturer that also produces for Fendi. The collection sells in the United States through Revillon, and this season it has captured the interest of key speciality stores, including Janet Brown, which has already placed an order.
Ciwifurs is owned by Giovanni Castiglioni and his wife Consuelo, Marni’s design director. For fall, she seems to have observed Pradaesque principles of simplicity, coming up with everything from timely knee-length coats to tight motorcycle jackets. Even a suit in sheared mink managed to look great. Castiglioni also paired fur with of-the-moment fabrics like nylon and patent. “We target young, trendy women,” she said recently. “They like a clean look, and that’s hard to find out there.”

Rena Lange: Lange produces the kind of clothes that used to be called ladylike — that is, suits, dresses and coats for the woman who wants to look sophisticated and fashionable without being obvious. This season, the Lange lady will be wearing plenty of fitted suits, often with lingerie touches; little sweaters over soft skirts, and ribbed knits with pristine white collars. At night, she can add a bit of dazzle with rhinestone edging on her jackets and dresses.

Alberta Ferretti: Italians love the mamma. And they’ve paid tribute to her all week in Milan — or at least, to the way she looked circa 1963. Alberta Ferretti joined the homage with pretty little shifts, boxy tweed suits and some of those knee-length princess coats. And it all looked like the epitome of polite chic. But Ferretti also turned sexy with tight jackets over cigarette pants and bare little black evening dresses.

Cividini: Piero and Miriam Cividini showed plenty of the spunky, playful knits they’re known for. But this time out they struck an appealing balance between trendy and timeless, pairing the knits with smart, classic pieces. There were lean sweater jackets or cropped twinsets over gray flannel pants or skirts; melange chenille sweaters with crepe suits, and, on a bolder note, a fake persian lamb jacket worn over skintight leather jeans.