I am sure you know it: the Missoni zigzag pattern. It’s been around since 1967 and returns time and time again in the house’s collections. It’s copied by brand like Zara and Mango: the perfect colorful summer print. So, no wonder the house of Missoni has an exclusive exhibition in the Fashion and Design Museum in London right now. But who are the Missoni’s and how come they have become so successful? Read on!
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Missoni: a family brand
In 1953 newlyweds Rosita and Ottavio Missoni founded their own fashion brand. They bundled their love for comfortable materials with colorful patterns and worked hard throughout the fifties. The big break came only in 1964, launching them into high fashion and making a true label of them. Was it a coincidence? Their colorful style fit very well in the colorful decade of the sixties, becoming a total hit with the fashion forward masses.
Ever since those years of great success, Missoni has been in the high ranks of fashion around the world. And always as a family business. In 1997 the daughter of Rosita and Ottavio, Angela Missoni, took over as creative boss of the brand. Son Vittorio took on the commercial and marketing side and also son Luca got busy in the design department of the house. Together they continued Missoni as one of the most successful Italian fashion brands around.
A tragedy in 2013
In 2013 a tragedy took place in the family. Missoni’s most prominent director, the son Vittorio, took a plane near Venezuela and disappeared. It is still a mystery to the public what happened exactly, but it seems that the plane crashed in the sea and killed all on board.
Missoni Art Colour in Fashion and Textile Museum London
The colorful house of Missoni now has an exhibition dedicated to its fashion. The Fashion and Textile Museum in London features Missoni until September this year (2016). I haven’t seen the exhibition, but I have read many visitor reviews. It must be an insightful show where you can learn much about the history of the label. You can see the first zigzag dress from 1967 that made Missoni famous. Many of the designs are only seldom shown, because they come from the private collection of Angela Missoni.
For art lovers there’s definitely a lot to see. Not only fashion marks the exhibition, but art was a major influence to the Missoni’s. The family drew inspiration from artists like Gino Severini, a leading futuristic painter. This makes total sense if you look at the famous zigzag pattern. Continue with my post on the basics of Futurism to find out about that connection. One of my favorite painters Sonia Delaunay is shown as well, along with around 40 other paintings by modernist painters. This way, the exhibition examines the influence that art can have on fashion and how that can be translated in the medium of textile.