“I love flowers for their liveliness and vitality,” says the Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni. And it shows: For the past two decades, blossoms have been a significant and recurring component in Castiglioni’s witty, often deeply personal collections. While it remains to be seen whether Castiglioni will send any garden motifs down the runway this Sunday, Marni flower power promises to be in full effect at the nearby Rotonda della Besana in Central Milan, where the brand will host a one-day pop-up flower market open to the public on the same day to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Under the supervision of Consuelo’s daughter Carolina Castiglioni, Marni’s creative director of special projects, the 18th-century colonnaded building complex will be decorated with lush floral installations inspired by the feeling of Istanbul’s sprawling souks and markets. Numerous species will be on view — roses, gladioli, chrysanthemums, dahlias, hydrangeas and asters, to name a few — alongside an array of garden-specific items for visitors to purchase, such as PVC vases with leather handles stamped with classic archival prints, designed to resemble Marni shopping bags; patterned paper-box planters containing seeds; and bright PVC-and-metal sculptures in the shapes of flowers, insects and birds, handcrafted by Columbian artisans. The pieces are a continuation of a limited-edition charity initiative that the brand debuted at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in 2012, with proceeds going to a variety of nonprofit organizations.
Though she’s hesitant to reveal much about her spring/summer 2015 collection for reasons of superstition, Consuelo sees the label’s future as an organic extension of the previous two decades. “The core elements — the taste for prints and colors, experimentation, avant-garde — were there right at the beginning,” she says.