One of the more esoterically interesting collections in Milan this season belonged to Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni. While the idea of layered mixed prints has been a Marni standby for some time never before has the clash been quite so loud and boisterous. Separately each of the pieces whispers but the deliberately mismatched styling makes them shout. Circles, stripes, plaids, even a hint of jacquard – it’s all there and it all competes for your attention. Whether or not the combination succeeds will depend highly on the viewer and the wearer.

Prints aside Castiglioni, plays with a variety themes – from sheer textures to the elegant use of color blocking Marni does so well. As the collection progresses sequins are added to the mix – yet another element in an already jam packed mélange. Their addition borders on excess but under Castiglioni’s deft hand the sequined skirts and tops seem less than overt. Her non-literal approach to glamour prevents things from ever going too far. Refraining from huge statements is of course a double edge sword – as unique as Marni’s collections are detractors have referred to them as being Prada-lite. In other words, above mediocrity yet still miles from momentous.

Drawbacks aside, one of the real gems of the collection are the accessories. In the past few years Marni has built a small empire on quirky bags and necklaces and this season’s offerings do not disappoint. The space age meets tribal necklaces are sure to be seen on the necks of discerning women everywhere and with the buttery croissant shaped bags it seems as though Marni has another hit to match their coveted Balloon totes.

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