Enterprise in Eclecticism at Marni S/S'12

Zina Tasreen , 24 Nov 2011
Marni S/S cataogue
Marni S/S back catalogue

Being a tramp at heart closet boho I’m partial to alt-bourgeois chic, which is why I look out for Marni’s collections at Milan Fashion Week every season. Ever idiosyncratic thanks to founder/designer Consuelo Castiglioni’s eclectic aesthetic: think a jumble of patterns and textures, easy looseness and heavily orchestrated whimsy. Naturally, S/S’12 was no different ‒ yet it felt fresh, rather like a sherbet to the palette after an artery-clogging meal (gaudy overdose that was the Milan Fashion Week).

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

It was fun and frolic contained within clean, clearly defined lines ‒ as always. On quick glance there seemed nothing off-kilter in the opening sequence of bone-plain trapeze-shaped (A-line) numbers with cut-outs to reveal panels of flesh, in lemon yellow, sugary pink, minty green and crisp white. Then, on second look, a good six inches of organza petticoats and colourful psychedelic floral collars came to view – and all felt right with the world again y-es, the Marni kookiness was very much intact.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12
Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

It’s the interplay between prints and textures that is the hallmark of the Marni line, and this collection had to have its fill. The prints ranged from pop-art florals to Bauhaus-inspired geometrics, chevrons and lines, and the finish on them varied from shaggy to sleek. Positively edgy and artful they all came across; particularly fetching, to me, was the look comprising a intarsia leather skirt of blue and white circular motifs paired with a stripy top.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12
Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

It was a masterful exhibition of textile skills from here onwards: graphic geometric pattern-hybrids of ethnic raffia chevrons and Art Deco sequin shimmer were placed on simple white shifts; sheaths in shards of plastic snow crystals in contrasting colours.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12
Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

The mishmash went another level when the beaded, embroidered, fringed, raffia and patterned skirts clattered down the runway with mis-matching tunic tops. Sounds a hot mess little schizophrenic, but actually, it all came together so beautifully. Intricately crafted, especially the closing numbers of raffia-like beaded skirts with fist-size Perspex daisies applied in triplicate, which brought to mind Christopher Kane’s mesmerizing see-through numbers with appliquéd flowers.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

And somewhere in the middle of all the noise came a series of sleeveless dresses, slim with sharp collars and alluring cut-out backs, in slight herringbone ‒ to sober things down.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

The footwear ‒ block heeled, bi-coloured Mary Janes – didn’t catch my fancy in the slightest (not a fan of the chunky heel look), I’m afraid.

Marni S/S'12
Marni S/S’12

But, the bags ‒ of the woven variety with windowpane patterns and intarsia leather ‒ I loooooved!

Sadly, this collection is not for skints mere mortals like us – strictly for those with incombustible vaults deep pockets. Other than those colourful collars and the sheer underskirts peeking out and translucent flesh coloured ankle socks, both of which I found wonderfully quirky, there isn’t much I can think of that could be translated to a regular wardrobe. This one’s just for viewing pleasure… :-)

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