“When Michelle Obama wore a Missoni knit dress to the Milan Expo last summer, the photo went round the world because it was the first time the President’s wife had worn something from the company,” Celia Joicey, Director of London’s Fashion and Textile Museum tells me. The Fashion and Textile Museum is staging the first exhibition dedicated solely to Italian fashion label Missoni, famous for their vivid kaleidoscopic stripes and zigzags. The show is not just a catwalk extravaganza, however; it will also explore the influence of modern art on the fashion and textile designs of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the husband and wife team who founded the family-owned house over 60 years ago. The exhibition includes over 40 paintings by artists, including Gino Severini, Lucio Fontana and Sonia Delaunay, as well as a selection of looks from the Italian fashion house from 1958 to the present day: all alongside previously unseen textile studies and paintings by Ottavio Missoni. Arguably Missoni fabric designs over the years reflect the history of 20th century European art, from the lyrical abstraction of Kandinsky and Klee, via the precise, geometric designs of the Bauhaus to the birth of the Italian Futurist movement.“A lot of people have talked about how the classic zigzag-y geometry of the Missoni knitwear relates to that Italian movement of Futurism,” says Joicey, “and the very celebratory use of colour.” Read the rest of Liz Hoggard's article in the (current) Delicate issue of Selvedge.
MISSONI ART COLOUR at the Fashion and Textile Museum.Until 4 September 2016