There was a flurry of fur on the Marni catwalk in Milan this morning, rather apposite considering the heavy snow falling in the city.
This collection was something of a departure for the usually heavily patterned and printed brand, featuring as it did only a handful of prints – each a version of a landscape of bare trees.
Whether as close-up branches scratching out a monochrome check or diagonally repeated lines of trees with blue skies or green leaves, this sparing use of pattern was atmospheric.
Fur was used to accent the austere collection in a dark palette of black, charcoal, forest green and oxblood. Flattened dresses that stood away from the sides of the body were embellished with badger fur as a wide strip at the hem or a cross-your-heart strap in dresses, accessorised with a black and lime-green stole.
There has been a lot of fur seen on the catwalks over the last five days, a trend that is sure to continue when the collections begin again in the luxury houses of Paris on Wednesday.
Although the Italians have always had a preponderance for skins, the prolific use could be seen as optimism for a return to the boom days of luxury fashion.
Marni received a huge investment in December when a controlling stake was bought by Renzo Russo, who also owns Diesel. In a country that characteristically likes to wear its wealth, this injection of money into the Italian brand was certainly apparent in today’s collection.
Expressing that wealth in a more flamboyant way, Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana mined their Catholic heritage for the rich iconography that inspired their new collection, taking saintly mosaics and frescos as a starting point for an ornately printed, sequined and jewelled collection.
There were Dolce & Gabbana signature fabrics aplenty, accessorised with Byzantine crosses and golden crowns: Sicilian lace in red, black and white was used on dresses, coats, skirts and smock tops with a soft Sixties silhouette while velvet was used on bags and shoes.