There is absolutely no one else in fashion who can lay claim to the authority of Angela Missoni's connection to next year's Olympic Games in London. Her parents, Tai and Rosita, first met under the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus when they were both attending the last London Olympics in 1948. Tai was not only a member of the Italian team, he was also responsible for its uniform, a peacock blue jersey tracksuit that zipped rather than buttoned. That historic garment was not only the first of its kind, it was also the foundation stone of the Missoni business. And today, it served the same function for the new collection.

Tai's tracksuit was reconfigured as the New Suit, a lightly structured jacket and pant with an athletic ease. The first to appear was in an inky floral jacquard with an almost lacelike weave. Although it was a supposed to be a contemporary revisioning of Tai's original from half a century ago, it established a retro mood that persisted throughout the show—as though the athletes we were reflecting on were more the genteel Chariots of Fire generation than the lean, mean, record-shattering machines of today. These models did look lean in their narrow, knee-length shorts and skinny trousers. And the knits, light enough to layer a cardigan over a waistcoat over a tee, had a natural body-consciousness. But as a statement about athleticism, it had more to do with, at most, gentlemanly jogging. You'd scarcely break a sweat in the linen pants with the drawstring ankle. Even the color scheme was unflaggingly polite: the lingering impression was navy or muted neutral, with the odd welcome streak of orange, red, or turquoise. And the fact that the suit jacket buttoned rather than zipped took on an unanticipated significance because it reversed Tai's innovation. The exception was the latest manifestation of Missoni's strategic alliance with Converse: a sensational trainer that was clearly geared for high performance. Otherwise, it was precisely the out-of-time quality that gave the collection its appeal. Retro the mood may have been, but it was romantic, too, fitting for a business that was born under Eros.