Missoni's latest ad campaign focuses on the family. And designer Angela took a tribe of third-generation Missonis down the catwalk with her today. It was as if she was emphasizing the emotional connection you can make with fashion (Dolce & Gabbana did the same thing at their show). That's also another way of emphasizing the value of the "Made in Italy" marque. Clever.
The show itself was rooted in a more universal tribal spirit. It found common ground among the Celts, the Masai, punks, the kids at Burning Man clearly a new turn of events for Missoni, but it made sense on the catwalk. A wrap skirt in patchworked Missoni knit could almost be a tartan kilt, especially given the big pins that literally held the collection together. And a big, slouchy blanket coat, also clasped with a pin, could be a Masai warrior's wrap. In fact, the whole idea of "could be" was Angela's impetus. Almost everything we were looking at had the potential to be something else. So all the knit shifts, tent dresses, and crop tops that were shown zipped open up the back were actually the wrong way around. And skirts could be pulled up or down, tops extended or shrunk.
Reversals and reconfigurations are the kind of notions that people more routinely get to grips with on their own (in a changing room, perhaps), which means this collection's user-friendliness was perhaps not as evident on the catwalk as it could have been. There was gorgeous outerwear—a fur-trimmed knit parka, for instance, layered over a skirt and pants (very haute Braveheart)—but much of it was offered with nothing more than clunky black-trimmed bras or bandeaus. Still, that's for show, and ultimately it scarcely distracted from the allure of a duffel-cape hybrid or an open-weave poncho that swirled like Macbeth's cloak.
To return to that family connection: Angela's daughter Margherita Maccapani Missoni carved a niche for herself in the business today with her first accessories collection: bracelets and neck pieces in chromed metal that held the knit tight. They had a techno-tribal edge that seemed entirely appropriate.