When I think about lines and stripes, two brands immediately come to mind. One is fundamentally British and firmly on the other side of the Channel, while the other is absolutely 100% Italian. This year, Missoni presents another wholly new reinterpretation of his famous lines of colour.
As we saw during Vogue Fashion Night, Missoni is a brand that enjoys contact with the public, meetings its guests in an informal way. For the spring-summer 2011 presentation, the Italian brand chose Milan University, with its lovely cloisters, in which a very, very long runway gave the general public the chance to see the show.
When the fashion show began, it was like an explosion of colour on the catwalk, a palette that included the entire rainbow of chromatic combinations. The visual effect was stunning. Garments were like long capes, wonderfully light on the models, gracefully following their movements and occasionally revealing flashes of feminine beauty. Orange, yellow, sky-blue, aqua green, bright green, magenta, violet and blue, all in perfect combinations as if in a giant Van Gogh-type palette, but with geometric and linear patterns that brought Piet Mondrian to mind.
The motifs were zig zag, rhomboid, squares, lightning flashes, vertical and horizontal stripes, lettering and texts. The motifs became the garments themselves, compiling a 20th century poem, as if in a tribute to Marinetti's Futurism and Tzara's Dada.
Missoni's woman is bright and happy. She doesn't need complex make-up, and she chooses the right accessories to complete her style. Large hats, with a square bill decorating a discreet crown, with a dramatic contrast between the external, highly coloured part, and the black, neutral interior, further enhanced by a scarf running down from the head and winding around the neck. The bag was unusual, with an inner bag inserted into a transparent tote, as if to provide further protection. Sunglasses are reduced to the minimum, with a simple coloured strip with two suspended black lenses. Sandals are also multicoloured, worn with long strips on the legs that add yet further colour.
The Italian brand proposes a super-colourful, super-ironic spring/summer, with a look that may seem very daring, idiosyncratic and unusual. However, if we think back to the great artists, they were all people who were willing to take a risk. Missoni's challenge for 2011 is an irreverent and glam woman, who is not afraid to claim her share of the limelight, but with a touch of Indian spirit.