Clothes and plenty of them, many good, and some, well, not so. If clothes, able to press the buttons of wearability and desirability simultaneously, has been the directive for this resort season, then Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni did, as they say, get the memo. Actually, a random question: Does anyone get memos these days? Is “get the e-mail” better? Or “get the text”? None have quite the same ring (tone) as the original, let’s be honest. Anyway, Castiglioni’s collection was most definitely in the good category. While this was Castiglioni at her most restrained, with a subtle yet strong exercise in graphic shapes and sportif detailing, like the go-faster stripes lining the sleeves of a blazer or wide trousers, all of this was treated with her usual gentle hand. Marni’s poeticism was there, but the jangling novelty plastics were gone, as was the toylike playfulness of the accessories, not to mention there being very little of the popadelia she usually likes to play with, save one retina-jolting, blown-up two-dimensional floral print that looked like it had started life on the walls of a Milanese apartment circa 1971.
That shirt-tunic hybrid looked best cut from a simple cotton poplin, either striped and worn with a matching skirt, or in minimal white, under a poet’s equivalent of the anorak, cut from a navy wool crepe and lined in the same cotton as the shirt, the jacket’s sleeves billowing with volume. (This lining trick was an instant softener on everything it came into contact—even the more evening pieces.) Castiglioni performed the same paring-down and scaling-back with her bags. The latest, inspired by bike panniers (turns out she cycles all over Milan) is a grouping of compartments hidden under a plain leather flap and three discreet golden snaps. Like so much else here, it was useful, relevant, and imbued with a direct and unfussy appeal that could only make it all the more desirable.