FROM THE ARCHIVES: FASHIONABLY REVIEWED: Marni x H&M

Marni is a brand for lovers of true fashion design, texture, and patterns—though this isn’t said to disregard another fashionista that says love an obvious favorite like Chanel, the downtown glam grunge of Alexander Wang, or even promised fast fashion staples like Forever 21, Zara or Bebe.  The creative director of Marni is Consuelo Castiglioni, and since the inception of her line in 1994, she’s been praised for her delicate craft of classically fun, diaphanous edges and soft curves paired with an appreciation for geometric graphics, colorblocking and schemes.  Her clothing is usually finished with the uncanny allure of a boho-chic lifestyle that harkens to the mod era of the ’60s and early ’70s wild child that’s been re-created for an uptown crowd.  Marni is the equivalent of the more prevalent Prada for those in the know when it comes to fashion, earning venerable praise season after season, as Castiglioni remains subtle with her honors.

On March 8, 2012, her collaboration with H&M was unleashed in U.S. stores, and in New York specifically, the loyal fans of Marni went a little crazy according to the amused fashion reports, as shoppers were taped leaving various H&M locations in Manhattan with at least three to four bags stuffed with merchandise.  It was definitely noticeable that the general public’s attention at this line for H&M was consideraly treated with a lower profile.  As aforementioned, Marni is a label that is comfortably under the radar in comparison to other fashion houses, and this is not because the label doesn’t boast amazing materials and fantastic designs.  Castiglioni is an artist that stands strong behind a belief that her work can speak for itself and that’s all that needs to be spoken, as well as Marni’s distinct non-overtly, sexualized or gaudy exposition.  Marni is almost matronly, especially in light of H&M’s last fashion for the people line with Versace, that even before it hit stores back in November 2011 caused excited waves online months prior. Anticipated buyers and critics very much looked forward to what Donatella was going to cook up for legions of Versace fans that couldn’t always afford the same Versace that Jennifer Lopez or Angelina Jolie condone even on a casual day, and before Versace, Lanvin for H&M also delivered quite a raucous in its own right.

The Marni at H&M hoopla has the kind of enthusiam that is genuine because the people waited possibly for hours to make a purchase are true Marni admirers, so while the attention isn’t as high-strung as past designer collaborations, there is still an audience for this diffusion.  The commodities for sale were also allegiant to the aesthetic of Marni that you would see on the runway every Milan Fashion Week.

Included in Marni at H&M’s lookbook, expect to plenty of earthy and jewel-toned hues used in fun, artsy prints such as polka dots, off-kilter shapes, stripes, and swirls, and there’s even an interesting shiny taupe leather, gray-sleeved pullover shirt, and they are certainly pencil skirts, frilly collared shirts, softened A-line dresses, and it’s all very vintage inspired and quite prim and properly wearable.  It’s versatile and different without being garish or lacking genuine imagination, yet it does admittendly cater to a specific type of style that is more profound, even a little bit ethereal and completely Southern European.

—Shardae Jobson

this writer can be reached at jobsonworks@gmail.com

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