You'll rememeber Missoni mania reached fever pitch this summer when the brighest of all highstreet collaborations arrived. Yep, Missoni for Target's gorgeous zig-zaggy pieces at bargaintastic prices caused hysteria among fash fans desperate to be covered in the brand's kaftans, headscarves, bags... So what better show to report backstage from this season than - yep, you've guessed it - Missoni. And that is why Grazia Daily was in a beautiful cloister in sunny Milano yesterday, hours before the Spring/Summer 2012 show, to bring you all the exciting goings on. Here's what we saw...
Upon arrival, the soundtrack is already pumping in preparation for a pre-show rehearsal. It's a clubby, dance track with suggestive vocals - and by 'suggestive vocals', we mean orgasmic squeals. What a welcome!
This season, the catwalk snakes around the stunning Università degli Studi with the models tackling the cobbles around the entire square. But already, the be-suited orchestrators are fretting that it could get chaotic. 'The girls don't know if they're going left or right!' one squeaks. Uh oh...
But that won't ruffle the feathers of the Missoni mademoiselles. Both in loose, floor-length dresses, Margherita Missoni and her mamma Angela are calmly overseeing the proceedings. This season, the models look as if they’ve been flamenco dancing until dawn so the collection is 'floaty and fun with ruffles, fringes, flowers perfect for dancing,' Margherita tells us. And as the granddaughter of the house's founders, not to mention a designer herself, does Mini Missoni influence the pieces? 'I work in the atelier every day so I'm part of the process.' And what an excellent ambassador she is, already sporting one of the chocolatey designs about to hit the catwalk. Oh, to be a Missoni...
Wading into the backstage area, proceedings are well underway, with a hoard of models already being preened to perfection, many having their hair, make-up and nails done simultaneously! Nice multi-tasking, peeps.
Amongst the madness, we grab a chat with Lucia Pieroni, who is heading up the beauty department for MAC. ‘The look is sexy and a little bit sweaty, as if you’ve been dancing all night and your make-up has melted off,' she explains. 'The skin is dewy with highlights on the cheeks and nose, polished off with a nude lip.’ We likey.
While Daphne Groeneveld and Liu Wen sit in the beauty chair, Lucia explains that despite the dewy skin, this beauty look is all about the eyes. ‘We used MAC eyeshadow in Groundwork for big, soft, smokey eyes with no edges, almost watercolour-ey. It’s about defining the eyes by using light and shade to bring the features out, rather than with mascara or eyeliner. And the eyebrows are very thick, brushed-up, and slightly darker than the natural hair colour.’
And here is Lucia's ginormous kit of tools - plus a cup of tea, natch. As for the clothes, we've been forbidden access - boo! - but from what we CAN spy, the signature Missoni palette of bright yellows, blues and pinks is still firmly in place.
Forget the clothes, it's food time! Joan Smalls and Kori Richardson are first at the refreshment table and yes - quelle horreur! - models actually EAT. Joan certainly needs to fuel up having just sped across town after walking for the Dolce & Gabbana show. No rest for the wicked, eh?
Emily Baker has a chat while her tresses are tended to. It's like your standard Saturday at the hairdressers, no?
Eugene Souleiman is in the house! And what a lovely bloke he is. The bona fide genius and Global Creative Director for Wella Professionals tells us ‘the hair has a very Spanish feel to it and I wanted to make it very sexy and very raw. Basically, they look like they’ve just had sex.’ Ooh err! ‘I’m not approaching this style just as a hairdresser, but as a man. It’s what I find beautiful and this is how I like a woman to look.' *blush*
To make the hair feel slightly dirty, Rugged Fix Matte Moulding Crème is rubbed into the roots for a textured effect. Then the hair is neatly side-parted before being pulled into a rough ponytail at the nape of the neck, covering the ears. Next, the ponytail is looped back on itself to create a bun and the loose ends are straightened. Finally, decorative hair combs specially created by Missoni featuring a snake motif are placed above the bun loop, et voila!
Oh, hello Hanne Gaby Odiele and Elsa Sylvan! The ever-so-gorgeous catwalkers are wisely taking a break in the Italian sunshine. Hanne is already doing her bit for the Italian knitters supreme by wearing a M Missoni A/W'11 cardie and S/S'11 neon shoes while Elsa is rocking head-to-toe black. 'The dress is from Acne,' she tells Grazia Daily. 'My style is usually inspired by my mood - or the weather - so my outfits aren't always so gothic!'
LOOK! It's Minx manicures, Missoni style! Marian Newman is helping to transform the models into party girls with the help of twenty different nail coatings custom-made for the show. ‘Each girl’s got one of these patterns relevant to what they are wearing, in yellow, blue or red,' the nail guru explains. 'The theme running through the collection is iridescent so we’ve used a chrome base and on top of that, we’ve added an accent of the Missoni print.’ Fabness!
Front of house, the catwalk space is filling up nicely. And what's everyone wearing? Missoni, of course, in a multitude of patterns and a kaleidoscope of colours. What a snazzy FROW it will be...
by Jessica Vince in Milan