At 8am (London time) this morning we were already up, out and installed in our seats at our first fashion show. And we were dressed, like just about everyone else in the audience, for a cocktail party: for this is day three of Milan and the fashion ante is seriously high. I saw one front row regular dressed head to toe in sparkling gold sequins and that was before breakfast. At this rate, it'll be ball gowns by tomorrow!
The show in question was Marni and as soon as it started, the audience was transfixed. The story here was all about fabrics: the hi-tech and the home spun, all crafted together to create a look that was perfectly of the moment. Shapes were deceptively simple. In fact the entire collection revolved around the most basic shift and straight skirt. But these were worked out in fabrics that looked so precisely modern they could almost be the result of a mathematical exercise. The lightest mesh was printed with huge harlequin diamonds. Lace made from perfectly symmetrical circular discs and cottons printed with repeating kaleidoscopic patterns were all perfectly symmetrical. And elliptical prints were rescued from retro with an overlay of transparent organza layers. Floral prints were like simple primitive drawings.
Tones of camel, tan, khaki and gold were relieved by a shocking injection of candy pink cagoule and lime green pant or the overlay of violet organza. And the huge necklaces made from acrylic flowers gave us a hit of modern romance. The finale was all glamour: Marni style. Those repeating lace circles on the back of dresses were echoed by shimmering paillettes at the front. And layers of candy coloured silks or wools were woven into panels of colour to brighten dark dresses. Meanwhile on the front rows, dozens of pencils scribbled ‘must have'.