Perhaps as an antidote to last year's harsh winter, in Milan two designers offered soft, muted, comforting colours for the season. Indeed, the clothing by Missoni and Etro could easily be mixed and matched between collections, so sensitive were they to gentle knits, tartans and tweeds, all of which revealed the designers' command of pattern and texture, as well as their eclectic sense of style.
For Missoni's 65th anniversary, Angela Missoni, daughter of the label's founders Rosita and Tai, looked to the past for both atmospheric and textile inspiration. Her collection conjures up 1970s and early 1980s Harlem, and integrates it with influences from Scotland, Jamaica and Africa, resulting in what Missoni calls a 'moment of joy'. That optimism was reflected in the soft, colorful knits, with some coming from Missoni's ample archives.
The collection highlighted the technique of patchwork: squares and checks appeared throughout. Missoni located vintage patches from early collections and pieced them into a long coat that was fastened by toggles and belted by a long knit sash in Rastafarian colours. Peering out from beneath the hem was the deep cream fringe from a pair of trousers that brought youthful energy to the archival patchwork.
Patches also appeared in Missoni's signature knits: an oversized maxi cardigan was so generous that it swaddled the model's body, all the better to show its large mohair checks in solid soft green, blue, gold and striped squares. This was worn over knit pants rendered in a horizontal and vertical stripes — using self-striping yarn — that produced a mesmerizing effect. An athletic triple stripe in Rastafarian colours provided structure down the side of the trouser.
Extract from the East issue. Words by Kate Cavendish, images by Firstview.