There was almost a hushed tone prior to the showing of the Missoni spring/summer 2014 line. You know, the kind that exists when something has happened and no one is quite sure whether or not it is polite to say anything. Since I have a big mouth, I’m not afraid to talk: It’s been a scary year to be a Missoni.
January 5th, a plane carrying the label’s CEO, Vittorio Missoni, his wife and another couple went missing off the coast of Venezuela. It would be July before the plane would be recovered and it is still unknown exactly what caused the plane to go down. Then, in May, Ottavio Missoni, the founder of the storied house, died at age 92. One can only imagine how difficult it must be to put creative effort into designing clothes with so much personal tragedy going on.
Yet, that is exactly what creative director Angela Missoni has done, to amazing effect. Building on what she referred to as an abstract pop interpretation of the basic elements of earth, wind, fire and water, the designer turned the label’s familiar chevron into crashing waves, the wings of seagulls, a tribal pattern, and even a variation of the family name cut from PVC. Colors were bold, even when applied in darker shades. Sheers were actually interesting, as opposed to the frequent random panels we’ve seen in other brands.
Silhouettes in this collection are the kind that make so much sense, one may wonder how they’ve missed them before. From frayed pencil skirts to draped and looped dresses, skirts fastened like sarongs, saris and caftan like volumes, there is plenty to appeal to women and get them into a feeling of summer relaxation.
Looking through this collection, one can imagine that, at some point during the year, Ms. Missoni threw herself into her work to avoid all the pain and drama that existed outside. At the same time, there’s a sense that exciting, new things are coming to the family. While plans to celebrate the label’s 60th anniversary were put on hold, niece Margherita delivered a healthy baby boy September 6 and there are other signs of health and longevity in this storied family.
Every family knows what it’s like to have points of loss and heartache. The Missoni family has bonded together and come out stronger and more creative than ever. We wish them well.