Something was missing from this autumn/winter collection from Angela Missoni. It took me a while to figure out exactly what the missing element was: hats! We’ve seen them in each of the Missoni collections for several seasons, with extremely complicated turbans being spun onto heads last September for the spring/summer looks. Not this evening, though. Angela signaled that she was mixing things up a bit by going with fairly complicated though certainly attractive up-dos from Paul Hanlon.
Headgear wasn’t the only thing missing, though. From the very first look, one might think we were seeing body suits or maybe even race suits under several of the looks. Obviously something was there, we could see the seams or in some cases obvious straps. So, Missoni is going for a more casual layered look. That look would be an illusion, though. As those pieces turned the corner and we got a look at the backs we realized Angela had pulled a fast one on our eyes with a body con that was impressive in its deception. Angela really likes playing with our perception of clothes and how they fit on the body, but this time she’s playing with how they relate to each other, giving us a perception of layering that is far from real.
Another thing that is missing? An occasional sleeve. Now, there are some totally sleeveless looks in the collection so don’t get confused. I’m referring to the four dresses, including the closing piece, that only had one sleeve. We’ve seen similar looks elsewhere before, but Missoni makes it feel more casual, as though, “Why would you put a sleeve on that side of the dress in the first place?” I’m not sure it’s a look that will ever catch on, though. Ignoring the impracticality of the feature, the look reminds me far too much of an ice skating costume from the 80s.
Balancing out what is missing is an extreme amount of what was there. If one is getting dressed head to toe in Missoni, start early; this is going to take a while. Oversized blazers are the preferred form of outerwear, though Ms. Missoni gives them a more feminine tailoring to the lapels and front so they don’t look at all as though one has been raiding their father’s closet. Not that one’s father is likely to be wearing bright orange with a marbled pattern, but then again, why wouldn’t he? It’s a house custom to avoid solid colors as much as possible so the jackets are infused with this season’s marbled design usually in colors highly contrasting whatever is beneath.
Neither are there any bare legs here this season. Tights or leggings, always colored and more often than not patterned, came under anything that wasn’t a full-length pant. Again, colors at least slightly contrasting the rest of the look were a necessity. Heaven forbid we see a head-to-toe anything.
Variations on marble patterns, and there are a lot of them, kept the clothes looking interesting. Some looked a bit like the reflections of water in a pool while others were tighter like a feather drawn slowly across wet paint. Missoni uses the pattern to create diversity within an ensemble, switching up both color and specific style of pattern within a single look. One ensemble boasted five different marble patterns within it, which seemed a bit much more my eyes but had an admittedly bohemian flare to it that was rather cool.
Oh wait, I’m not done. There are zigzag patterns, too, which also change colors from one line to the next. Now, imagine mixing the zigzag pattern with the marble pattern. Angela Missoni has an interesting take on color, doesn’t she?
Here’s the thing: one doesn’t come to Missoni looking for that same old thing found in every other collection. One expects diversity, difference, and contrast. Angela Missoni provides that in reams this season and dares anyone looking for something different to be disappointed.