With their slinky, striped knits, knotted-string halternecks, frizzed-out hairdos, and wooden platform sandals, the girls at Missoni might have been having a flashback to the 1970's. And why not? That was the decade when Tai and Rosita Missoni first made big news, and this show was an emotional celebration of their multicolored fifty-year run as one of Italy’s most-loved family businesses.
The Missonis’ daughter, Angela, has carried the company’s obsession with zigzags, chevrons, and stripes to a new high. Her delicately playful pop animal prints, swirly art nouveauderived patterns, and flaring vertical linesall controlled by a slim, body-conscious silhouettemake for an amazing spectrum of separates, dresses, and utterly desirable cutout swimsuits and beach cover-ups.
Angela’s collection was followed by a runway retrospective of her parents’ archives, a parade that illustrated the range of creativity and imagination that propelled Missoni to become a cult label of the rich hippie/jet-set era. It was like watching a knitted footnote to the history of fashion, weaving its way through space age to bohemian eclectic to Studio 54, offering kaleidoscopes of color in tapestries, patchworks, quilts, butterfly wings, and every variation of stripe imaginable. More extraordinary still, most of it looked absolutely wearable now. Perhaps that’s an observation on how all-inclusive trends have become; it also shows just how rich and inspiring an inheritance Angela Missoni has to play with.