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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Marni – Athlete Meets Aesthete

Godfrey Deeny
September 27th, 2010 @ 11:54 AM - Milan

With a good quarter of the collections in western Europe referencing Yves Saint Laurent's silhouette, especially the legendary designer’s use of bright colors, it was refreshing to attend the latest collection of Marni in Milan on Sunday, Sept. 26, whose proportions and naïve or exuberant palette seemed thoroughly new and of this era.

Marni’s designer Consuelo Castiglioni sent out a unique layered look in this spring 2011 collection, rethinking active sportswear and melding it into classy feminine looks. Flared harlequin pattern dresses flowed over micro fiber T-Shirts and tight shorts that looked like neoprene but turned out on closer inspection to be waxed cotton.

Muddy lemon, faded mauve or Aegean blue were her favorite colors, used in garments that might sound improbable – like, say, calf leather coats cut out like a circuit board or leggings in zig-zag prints more commonly seen in Beach windbreakers – but they had great quirky charm. Her new woven leather bags that mimicked cheaper plastic models, were also very smart. However, the choice of mosaic style sandals was less successful, and too clunky for this collection.

The designer also visually mocked all the many brands worldwide that have copied her obsession with amulets - antique, Bedouin, Modernist or Renaissance - which she has included in her recent collections. This season, her opening amulet was composed of several chains and a half dozen tea strainers. “One has to have little fun with those who follow,” smiled the designer, half irritated, half resigned.

Ironically in such a colorful display, the two best looks were the simplest – two rosy flesh colored silk dresses, tied with a simple black band and worn over jean-like leggings, which had all the arty ease that is associated with Marni. Compared with Castiglioni’s trend-setting collections, this will probably be judged as one of her less vintage efforts.

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