Famed for its original prints and inventive spirit, Marni is one of fashion’s most-loved labels, and its Founder and Creative Director Consuelo Castiglioni has created for H&M a spring collection for both women and men which capture the essence of Marni.
Marni’s collection for H&M has all the freedom and experimentation for which the label is renowned, with all-over prints in strong colours all intended to be worn together in layers that both match and clash. For women, the colours are vivid and the prints are bold, be they African inspired or simpler colour blocks. The silhouettes are all Marni staples, with full pleated skirts, dresses, cropped trousers and jacquard knit, and fabrics range from silk to crisp cotton poplin. To finish the complete look the collection also includes jewellery, shoes, bags and scarves.
For men, the colours and fabrics are softened for a relaxed take on menswear staples that is truly Marni. The use of print is subtle, often as a lining or as a contrast detail for shirts, the silhouette a modern and relaxed take on masculine classics.
Do you try to send a message or theme through your clothes?
Freedom and a will to experiment with colours, textures, shapes.
Where do you get inspiration from to create your unique designs?
Everywhere: books, art, music, travels, nature.Life itself is the biggest source of inspiration.
What type of fabrics and materials were used for this collection?
Fabrics with a firm hand or a certain fluidity: crispy cotton, taffetas, silk and then patent or matte leather and metallic lamè in the women’s collection; compact cotton in different weights dominates the menswear.
Is there a specific man you aim for when you design your clothes?
The Marni man is a softly pragmatic dreamer who pays great attention to details. He is someone who likes simple, functional clothing in interesting proportions and new fabrics. He does not want clothing to over-power him. He appreciates subtlety.
What is your favourite piece from the collection?
The lilac gold lamè ensemble, as it expresses perfectly the Marni shifting of codes: it is in fact a sporty piece done in couture fabric, and I love it.
Which celebrity would you like to see wearing your clothes?
I don’t like the celebrity game. I am happy when I see women with great personality wear my clothes.
What is your favourite season for fashion?
I like a mix of different moments, and have not got a favourite era: the demure 50s, the flower power 60s and so on. I always like the mix, and not the literal thing.
Has the experience of working with H&M changed you as a designer?
It gave me a new energy: being able to speak to the younger generations is great, indeed.
The Marni collection is the latest designer collaboration for H&M, which has previously collaborated with brands such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, and most recently Versace. Available from March 8, 2012 in around 260 stores worldwide and online.
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #38 March 2012