In a season when the forties and the seventies are a rising influence, Missoni incorporated them both. It's hardly a novelty to tie the decades together, though, because "the forties" were the rediscovery of the early seventieswhich just so happens to be the time when the Missonis were first knitting together their family business. The trouble is, so many are stomping their platforms on this well-trodden era this season that it's shown there's a fine lineno, a chasmbetween doing it badly and making it seem like not such a lame idea after all.
Angela Missoni came out on the right side of the line, even if she did use the familiar devices of Rita Hayworth's hair, Marlene Dietrich's tip-tilted hat, and the inevitable Bowie sound track. But what's the distinction between Missoni's cape-sleeved printed dresses, big-shouldered furs, balloon sleeves, tailored flares, Deco jerseys and everyone else's? It's largely a deft wielding of the hard-to-handle dusty seventies palette. Exact choices of maroon, brown, beige, mustard, dusty pink, and petrol blue marked Missoni best-in-class in Milan. Even irregularly pieced triangular Deco patchworks (fully murdered in several collections elsewhere) turned into a double-knit patchwork dress and a shorter shell version that actually looked likableboth were helped immeasurably by sexy gathers shaping the bustline. When Missoni keeps the confidence of her feminine instincts like that, things go well. What she might learn is not to be panicked by conflicting trend news. The demerit in this show was the unstoppable short circle skirt that kept popping up, which seemed not just out of character with the collection, but like a panic reaction to the Azzedine Alaïa trend that's currently doing the rounds.