A strapped-on pair of huge, stuffed pockets announced Consuelo Castiglioni’s spring fling with utility. The massive pouches on her first look out at Marni padded the hips more than 10 Bar jackets could, and were positioned atop just as big, but not as puffy, thigh pockets on a sturdy, round-shouldered jumpsuit. The all-white onesie with extras flagged that the designer’s volume exploration had migrated from last season’s glorious sleeve fixation, with its modernist Renaissance romance, via a construct referencing both workwear and street.
Castiglioni worked with rigor, vacillating between structure and fluidity not out of indecision, but as variants on a single theme.
It proved interesting. Castiglioni is a bold designer, unafraid to experiment with cut and volume. Her adventures in silhouette have become as signature as her prints, and here she proceeded without caution. The monochromatic tailored looks featured multiple layers, pockets, flaps, folds, aprons, long tie belts, demonstrative collars, extralong sleeves, and more, all piled with precision overstatements that crossed that bridge from compelling to cumbersome. Castiglioni kept her dresses deliberately unfussy in attitude as they twisted, turned, pleated and fell off the shoulder, some shirred into asymmetry by drawstring ropes. These came in both solids and small-scale abstract prints. Some — a modernist green-zigzagged gypsy; an aqua goddess affair — worked their controlled complications beautifully. As for the more extreme, only the most gazellelike of nonmodels will likely dare.
Yet Castiglioni is as savvy as she is experimental. That puffed-up pocket protrusion that straps on can also strap off, which will make many of the clothes more user-friendly. As for other accessories, Castiglioni showed a range of good-looking bags. She went structured, with thick briefcases, and soft, with inviting drawstring sacks. And her models wore demonstrative, deliberately mismatched earrings. Given the show’s utilitarian bent, these delivered a shot of fancy, delightfully incongruous.