Marni at H&M: Sneak Peek at the New Collection

H&M's and Marni's Press Release: Eclectic, quirky and timeless, the Marni collection at H&M is a modular wardrobe for women and men, complete with accessories. It is composed of elegant items selected by Marni’s creative director and founder, Consuelo Castiglioni, from her extensive repertoire to create a playful range of style possibilities. A sense of sophisticated eclecticism is mixed with a sporty allure; the accent is on the streamlined purity of design and the intensity of surfaces. The result is high on prints and spring energy, with the unmistakable Marni signatures evident in the juxtaposition of shapes, patterns and materials.

The collection is compact, the mood individual. Everything goes with everything. Items can be assembled and reassembled in a variety of outfits according to personal instinct and will; suggesting an innovative approach to dressing up. The intersection of sportiness and sophistication is a defining trait. For women, essential pieces such as loose dresses, shirts and tops become playgrounds for inventive associations of prints and textures.

Well-defined summer coats and slender jacket-and-skirt ensembles add a quirky ladylike note, which is immediately toned down by the relaxed ease of the parkas and sporty zip-up blousons. Knits have a constructivist feel: silk-front cardigans sport a knitted back, just like patent leather zip-up tops. Short pajama suits and stripey leggings used as underpinnings have a graphic charm. Lilac gold brocade is treated as a sporty fabric on looks that reinvent the definition of day to night. The same well-defined ease carries over to the menswear. Parkas are slim and playfully utilitarian; formal suits come either with long pants or Bermuda shorts. Plays of intarsia and prints gives new meaning to wardrobe staples such as shirts and knits and Marni’s striped men’s sweaters come in luxurious cashmere. Pops of color on a sleeve, or in the lining add a dash of the unexpected, while matching shirts and shorts have a sense of loungewear. A hint of workwear recurs throughout as well.

The color palette is pragmatic, with unexpected ruptures. In the women’s collection, notes of black, dark gray, navy blue, olive fatigue green and khaki are interspersed with flashes of rust, orange and gold. For men, black, deep blue and khaki are accented with peaks of light or electric blue, orange and crimson red. Allover prints add visual richness: there are geometric motifs for both men and women, and in the womenswear, abstractly naturalistic patterns. Fabrics have a firm hand or a degree of fluidity: crisp cotton, taffetas, and silk, along with patent or matte leather and metallic lamé are used in the women’s collection, while compact cotton in different weights dominates the menswear.

Accessories add another element of eclectic playfulness. Marni’s signature elastic waistbands define the silhouette with a quick gesture. Sequined shirt collars are used as necklaces. Jewels made of zyl, resin and rhinestones have sculptural phytomorphic shapes; Deco-inspired resin bracelets can be piled on the arm. Footwear includes flat explorer sandals for men and women, wooden-platform open-toe slingbacks and metallic pumps with wooden soles and a stack heel for women and basic tennis shoes for men.

Bags have well-defined shapes and come in printed fabrics, leather or shiny plastic. An oversized tote for men is sophisticatedly utilitarian. Printed foulards, straw hats, explorer caps and socks all add a dash of quirkiness. Printed and child-like appliqué t-shirts complete the look. This is a luxurious collection, defined by the same attention to detail, richness and unparalleled level of craftsmanship that has made Marni a cult label among the cognoscenti. In this groundbreaking collaboration with H&M, the same codes are made available, for the very first time, to a new, transversal audience of individually minded explorers of style.

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