The show notes announced “amplification, exaggeration, and gentle distortion” at Marni for Fall/Winter 2014. Calling upon the house’s codes and signature touches, such as detailed artisanship, a sportif undercurrent, and pleasant prints, Consuelo Castiglioni delivered a collection that was big on both construction and embellishment. The former saw stiff neoprene garments folded and sewn like origami to create unexpected shapes and distorted silhouettes. Peplum details jutted out from the waist of an oversized coat, while large ruffles cascaded down a jersey-gray skirt. The stiff ruches, adding density and depth to the skirts, gave the appearance of weight, when in reality the neoprene ensured the garments were light and airy – all part of what Castiglioni calls “a play of padded densities and assertive weightlessness”. Floral embroideries on jacquard silk were all part of this same game, appearing thick instead of spongy.
In her exploration of shape, Castiglioni dropped the shoulder seam on a series of looks and widened the sleeves so much so that they seemed to move of their own accord, flapping like wings alongside Fei Fei Sun. Elasticated belts prevented color-blocked dresses with overly long bell sleeves and stiff turtlenecks from overwhelming the models’ frames. The casual belts were part of the sporty vibe we’ve come to expect from Marni, along with a number of athletic references, from the ribbed cotton hems and the waterproof parka skirts complete with drawstrings to the pair of gray cotton tracksuit pants, all reinforced by the fact that the models’ hair looked as though they’d been wearing baseball caps for far too long.
True to her promise of amplification and gentle distortion so far, Castiglioni turned her attention to exaggeration, and closed the presentation with a series of breathtaking felt looks covered in feathers of different colors, different sizes, and different shapes. In spite of the wild mix, the designer ensured structure and order by creating horizontal panels of identical feathers, never blending different types. Consuelo Castiglioni had favored commerciality over creativity in recent years, but this collection is firm proof that those days are behind her now – and we couldn’t be more thankful.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway