Artistry and architecture unite through Marni's voluminous, utilitarian-inspired creations by Consuelo Castiglioni for Spring/Summer 2017.
There is a new mood permeating the fashion industry this season; it’s one of urgency born out of the race to solve a broken system driven by rapidly evolving consumer habits. Some whisper of a worry that creativity is being sacrificed for capitalism, but there are still pockets of the industry where experimentation and conceptualization are valued higher than the bottom line. In Milan, eclectic brands march to the beat of their own drum, led by Marni’s captain Consuelo Castiglioni, who continues to advance artistry and architecture with her challenging creations.
For Spring/Summer 2017, Castiglioni developed two distinct motifs: one bulky and voluminous, while the other decoratively pleated and draped. Both styles were employed to create visually surprising, oversized shapes that sloped off the shoulder, dangled past the wrist, amplified the hips, or obscured the body’s frame in other ways. Utilitarian, canvas-like separates were fitted with enormous saddle bags, stiff and suspended sleeves, and plenty of pockets. They were shown in neutral, khaki shades as well as monochrome teals, fuchsias, powder blues, and blush pinks.
This same idea was asserted later in the show with an array of abstract floral prints, which were also used to tie Castiglioni’s delicately pleated looks to the rest of her presentation. The pleated dresses with drawstring accents were especially fun to figure out – one gets the sense that an entire dress would unfurl if you pull one of its ripcords.
The puzzlement factor is key to Marni Spring/Summer 2017 – a simple glance doesn’t explain a look, which means you have to get up-close-and-personal with the collection to make sense of it. This is slow fashion at its finest: deliberate, considered, and artistically refined to the point where you want to run your hands over every surface. The fashion industry would do well to take cues from Castiglioni’s rarefied approach.