Control and precision; grace that is dry, assertive, with a hint of tension. An idea of graphic composition permeates the Marni collection for f/w 12/13: pure lines, decisive volumes. As if obeying to a precise layering plan, outfits have a constructivist feel with a sleek outlook and a tactile intensity. Shapes are off-kilter; color is used for its density and intensity as a design element; a restrained take on opulence and an accent on fur as punctuating texture subtly alters the balance. The result is firm, at once sober and twisted.

The silhouette is neat and precise, to-the-knee, with a dropped waist. There’s an idea of clothing as soft, architectural element. Exact capes create a firm halo around the body. Decoration turns into construction, playing with the weight of surfaces: rounded fur collars land on top of leather coats, or are worn in place of neckpieces; panels of mink and felted wool recreate the strictness of a man’s coat. An air of grace and rigor runs through: the neck is always covered; brocade tops worn with matching pants are both sumptuous and severe; stole jackets secured to the waist restrict and protect. Prints are used as an accent: a single outsized flower, papiro jacquards and brocades; fur is hand cut in intarsia to recreate tweed and piano stripes. Evening shapes are sculptural, rounded on the hips, highlighted by dense embroideries with a mechanical edge. Gold metal circles with applications and flowery rhinestone brooches run decoratively along the neckline; jewelry becomes an integral element of the garment.

The palette has notes of butter, crimson red, clear blue interspersed with touches of pink, blush, tan and broken with notes of black, tobacco and saffron. Fabrics have a compact hand: silk wool double-face, lurex jacquard, wool crepe. Exaggerated, oversized patent leather and snakeskin add weight and presence.

Accessories include kabuki soles in velvet with gold metal toe caps and lacquered platforms in velvet piped in gold. Bags have a geometric presence: rectangular styles with a curvilinear handle and a shoulder strap, small doctor bags with intarsia motifs, meshed leather bags on hard frames. Sunglasses are over and undersized.