WORDS BY AMELIA BELL
For Vogue Italia’s Chiara Totire, Missoni is very much a family affair – as it is, incidentally, a family brand. Ignited by her mother’s love for the heritage label, Missoni’s colourful melange of kaleidoscopic, zigzag pattern always evokes a sense of nostalgia. And yet, as she points out, the cherished brand - in the hands of creative director Angela Missoni - remains as relevant today as it was some sixty five years ago. So in light of the upcoming SS19 show this Milan Fashion Week, who better than Totire to talk all things Missoni with us?
How did you first discover Missoni?
It was all thanks to my mother. When I was a child, she would always wear Missoni and they were the only pieces which, given their vibrant colour and distinctive print, I was able to recognise when I was younger.
What made you fall in love with the brand?
Many, many reasons, but mostly because I grew up with Missoni in my family; it reminds me of my childhood, and the image of my mother wearing it. It will always have personal sentiment to me.
Tell us about the first piece you ever bought...
I bought my first Missoni – a brightly coloured pink dress – when I was still at high-school during a trip to Bali. I remember there was this little boutique, and although I can’t remember the collection it was from (at that time I hadn’t started working in fashion), I just loved everything about it. It was more about how the dress made me feel.
Throughout its 65 years, what’s Missoni’s biggest impact on fashion been?
Missoni has revolutionised knitwear – it was even originally called Maglificio Jolly (meaning Joker Knitwear). Unlike all those heavy lambswool jumpers around at the time, Rosita and Tai (Angela’s parents) found a new way to make the chevron pattern by using a Raschel knitting machine. It’s given the brand a real sense of timelessness, and has since influenced the works of so many designers.
Kaleidoscopic, zigzag prints are synonymous with Missoni, what do they symbolise to you?
The shapes, the colour, that famous print – for me, it’s a celebration of women everywhere.
How do the pieces make you feel?
I always like to wear pieces that make me feel liberated – free to walk, dance, travel and feel amazing inside and out. When I wear Missoni, I feel like I’m not sat at an office desk or working, I don’t need to follow trends – but that anything and everything is possible. You can go everywhere, and look amazing everywhere you go.
Three words that describe the Missoni woman…
Free, elegant and joyful.
Angela Missoni said ‘my parents invented a vocabulary and I like to add to that
language’, how do you think Missoni has evolved?
Angela was able to keep the nature created by her parents, but bring something personal to it. For example, last season’s clash of cultures in the late Seventies, New York, or even the reimagined zigzag print, which takes on a new guise every season.
Regarding Missoni’s SS19 show, what are you most excited to see?
I recently visited Angela Missoni’s home and it was full of beautiful artwork; I’m expecting (and hoping) to see plenty of artistic references in the new collection, too.
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