AW10 MFW report: Missoni

02 March 2010

A stellar show from Missoni made the final day in Milan a memorable one. The audience arrived still dabbing tears after Dolce & Gabbana's emotional a paean to the Made In Italy tradition.

Here too, the power of Italian tradition hung heavy in the atmosphere. The audience included three generations of Missonis. The designer, Angela is the daughter of the founders. Her daughter Margherita was making her debut as jewellery and accessories designer. Angela’s brother runs the business. They all star in the current ad campaign. When, at the end of the show they fell in step behind Angela on the runway, the audience, who had barely recovered from Dolce Gabbana puddled up all over again.

If the closing statement was about family and tradition, the show itself was about how to keep pushing what is essentially a very classic product forward and protect it from getting mired in predictability and the past.

Big kimono sleeved blanket coats were pinned into shape with huge kilt pins. Ponchoes were slung over one shoulder to reveal bare midriffs and low slung shorts beneath the chunky textured outer layers. Cardigan coats dropped off naked shoulders over collage sequined dresses and zipped neck pieces. Zipped cardigans were worn backwards to reveal naked backs under chunky marls.

The swagger of cloak and kilt pleat, the glint of mismatched sequins and kilt pins, the glimpses of naked skin and the ultra modern highlights of Margherita Missoni’s metallic neck pieces gave this collection of classic pieces an air of Masai exoticism, a hint of Scottish heroism and a dash of punk anarchy. Against the pounding beat of a Japanese taiko drum a collection of perfectly commercial pieces were transformed into a heart stirring fashion moment. In this economic climate this is a catwalk trick that amounts to fashion alchemy: attempted by many but achieved by few. Missoni made it happen. 

- Paula Reed in Milan


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