Marni Spring 2012 Review

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Marni Spring 2012 collection

Show: Marni

Hair: Paul Hanlon

Make-up: Tom Pecheux

Accessories: Spectator pumps in white and contrast patent-leather over sheer ankle-socks, envelope clutch-bags in different leather treatments

Overall Takeaway: The Marni girl seems to be growing up so fast these days…

It's pointless to ring the similarities between one Marni collection and the next. Why comment on the odd decoration, the wacky styling touches or the blocky platform shoes? Those are Marni's signatures, the way in which Consuelo Castiglione singles her label out against the rest of the sexy and streamlined Italo fash-pack.

The things to look at are the differences, the subtle touches that mark Marni's slow and measured evolution from season to season. Last season there was a new glamour to the Marni girl. She'd grown up a tad, fancied up her dresses with sequins and pulled on her lurex and furs. This time, Castiglione further developed that sense of restraint and polish. Shapes were simple, almost strict in an opening sequence of pastel tunic-dresses worn over slender semi-transparent organza skirts. Castiglione could easily have fussed that up with embroidery or beading but instead kept the line pure and unadorned. When decoration came in, it was generally controlled—leather appliqué that mimicked the collection's floral prints, for example, or heavy beading in flat geometric patterns inspired by the Bauhaus.

Of course Castiglione couldn't keep her cool for too long—at the end, she threw out a couple of wild wolves for the Marni maximalists, weighted down with bead embroidery and skirts fairly clapping with masses of three-dimensional flowers in patent leather. But as Van Der Rohe said, God is in the details—in this case, clunky-but-covetable Deco style plastic earrings, block-heel spectator pumps and clutch-bags neatly tooled like a man's wing-tip in contrasting primaries. With (or maybe for) a purse like that, perhaps even the eternal Marni girl is ready to grow up?