Missoni in London
"[A] piece of clothing should be like a work of art. It should not be bought for a special occasion or because it's in fashion, but because a woman likes it…and feels she could wear it forever." Rosita Missoni.
Okay, so yes, I LOVE Missoni. When I was at FIT in NYC training to become a fashion designer, I almost went into knitwear for my specialty, but chose lingerie design instead. Still, it has never changed my feeling about knitwear, and well Missoni in particular. So, you can imagine my excitement last summer, when we were in London and heard about the exhibit; "Missoni Art Colour" at the Fashion and Textile Museum.
It's not just Ottavio and Rosita Missoni's designs that I love, (he was an artist) it was also his relationship to colour that I can relate to and this exhibit actually focused on how Missoni was influenced by contemporary art of the 60's and 70's. Here is my favorite quote from Missoni - “I like comparing color to music: only seven notes and yet innumerable melodies have been composed with those seven notes. … How many tones or shades does each color have? An infinite number, just as always endless are the hues and nuances composing a work of art.”
Ottavio said, ""I've never done what was fashionable. Going against the rules comes naturally to me." It seems to me that both he and his wife, Rosita, who is the co-owner of Missoni, felt this way.
Studying the designs carefully, you can see how colour and line set up a very pleasing and at times complex rhythm. I loved seeing the story boards, like this one below and how they translated to Missoni clothing designs.
Intricate designs in pencil crayon that become beautiful weaves for clothing and interior textiles.
Missoni not only created clothing designs, but home furnishings as well. Here are examples of mirrors whose boarders are wrapped in textiles, as well as carpets and rugs.
"Both "colour" and "material" are the elements essential to my craft. As for my patchworks, they are a natural extension of my work, of the pleasure I get from playing with these little pieces of multicolor knit fabrics where each single one deserves particular attention since it has a story and a life of its own." Ottavio Missoni
Sadly, Ottavio Missoni passed away on 9th May 2013.
"“I cannot stay away from colour!” exclaims Rosita," I feel much the same way!
Rosita Missoni is now 84 and lives in Milan where she surrounds herself with beautiful textiles and colours. Part of our travels this summer will take us to Milan where I'll pop into the Missoni shop. I'll also be back in London and am very excited that the Fashion and Textile Museum will be hosting an exhibit of the designer, Anna Sui's work; "The world of Anna Sui."