Marni PF14 (24)MILAN, Jan 17, 2014/ — If you watch ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”, then you know that the women are not damsels in distress. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and of course, Emma are as much as a warrior as their Prince Charmings.

Consuelo Castiglione at Marni took that sense of adventure and translated them into clothes that are firm and robust to face changing weathers and gritty expeditions. It is a tough take on femininity and I love it.

Like the settings of most fairytales, the Marni Pre-Fall 2014 collection has a Northern feel with a gentle tingle. It mixes severity and grace with a certain carelessness, using fur as both a functional and a decorative element, while prints, sudden bursts of color, small flashes of embroidery provide accents and ruptures.

The silhouette is pragmatic, volume and firmness being the defining elements. Legs are either covered till mid-calf or insouciantly bared. Asymmetrical godets give an architectural movement to skirts and dresses, creating a sinuous yet precise line.

Outerwear plays with the idea of addition, the elements and details of the construction shown rather than hidden: contrast taping flashing from inside a trench coat; tones of grey mixed on the zip-up parka; leather and felt graphically arranged on the collarless coat; tufts of fur highlighting a collar.

Function is interpreted through an off-kilter angle: a brocade blouson; a sleeveless coat worn as a gilet. Sheepskin used for Bermudas suggesting visions of explorers facing the winter.

As a contrast, the collection balances such stress on the robust needs of performance with a vein of womanly assertiveness: waists are cinched; printed dresses express a domestic feel; the dyed stole occasionally becomes a colorful scarf and recurs throughout. The mix of elements is carried on with graphic nonchalance.

The color palette is strict yet open: tones of charcoal, chocolate, midnight and royal blue, cream and tobacco are interspersed with flashes of apricot, poppy red and candy pink. Fabrics are firm and consistent to the touch: double-faced wools, wool-alpaca blends, micro weave and light weave wools, silk crepe. Mink, fox and Persian Lamb highlight the tactile intensity of the collection. Prints have a spontaneous quality: phytomorphic motion motifs, reverse patterns.