Paris: If one thing can be said of Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni, it’s that she has a consistently delightful view on fashion and the kind of woman she designs for. At once intellectual, quirky, fun and lively, Marni often seems like the more playful and artsy companion to Prada’s more serious and austere big sister. And, Castiglioni’s pre-fall collection didn’t fail to disappoint in that this season. Using a ruler and graph paper as a starting point, the collection was characteristically heavy on prints and patterns – plaids, stripes, paisleys, damask, and hearts galore – and had a smart 70s collegiate feel to it, with ribbed turtlenecks, wide-leg trousers, quilted outerwear, ribbon belts, A-line skirts, a plaid thermal-pyjama style suit set, and pops of vibrant jewel tones set off against warm camels. A particularly playful take on eveningwear turned the traditional tuxedo on its head with its elastic-cuffed polka-dot pants and fur jacket, a refreshing and welcome breath of fresh air in a season usually known for its safe commerciality. Castiglioni delivered a collection that will satisfy Marni stalwarts, but one that may also very well attract some new converts with its bookish-cool allure.

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