Missoni Home: An Introduction
Zigzags, stripes and bold colours make Missoni recognisable everywhere, having taken the world by storm in the 60’s and 70’s. The brand was born in 1953, conceived by the married duo Ottavio and Rosita. A small knitwear business based in Gallarate, not far from Rosita’s family home, they presented their first collection “Milano Sympathy” in Milan in 1958.
With their reputation and following growing, they were further propelled into fashion history with the support of fashion editor Anna Piaggi from Arianna magazine. A knitwear collection collaboration with French stylist Emmanuelle Khanh in 1966 led to a scandalous but ultimately fruitful showing at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1967. The story goes that Rosita asked the models to remove their bras, due to a colour issue, but under the spotlights in the palace this caused quite the sensation! The Missoni’s were not invited back but the publicity that ensued enabled the brand to grow immeasurably.
It was the 1970’s that saw the name become not just a name in the fashion world but a household name. They won the ‘Meiman Marcus Fashion’ award in ’73 and their ‘Made-in-Italy’ concept flourished, with boutiques opening in New York (in Bloomingdales centre, no less), Paris, Japan and the Middle East. That same year, the New York times was quoted saying, “Missoni’s knitted clothes have become international status symbols, like Vuitton bags and Gucci shoes.”
“Fashion is ephemeral and this is its great charm. Home is long-lasting like elegance.”
—Rosita Missoni (The LuxPad 2015)
The ‘Missoni Home’ label was launched in 1983. Their homeware collection proves that fashion is as important to the home as it is to the catwalk. Rosita herself is at the forefront of this, having transferred control of the business to her children in the 90’s.
Season after season ‘Missoni Home’ dresses the bedroom to the bathroom and everything in between. Classic patterns and colours are revamped with new motifs and styles, ensuring the Missoni look is never out of fashion and always recognisable. You’ll know them by the vibrant, captivating colours, and simple shapes and elements which effortlessly blend with existing environments and sophisticated settings to create a classy environment with a slight funky touch to it.
“…the home is alive. It’s constantly evolving and never finished.”
“Furnishing my way means creating a habitat that’s ordered yet informal, versatile and welcoming. My home is always open to encounters or people just passing through, the family’s comings and goings, and for when friends and acquaintances unexpectedly drop in. It must evoke emotions and curiosity, it has to become an oasis of colours and moods, a snug shell full of appealing, unusual elements in out-of-the-mould arrangements…”
Two words (or three, really) to describe the new Missoni Home collection – fireworks and floral galaxies.
The eccentric colours and shapes are combined to create a darker, more sensual atmosphere which reminds us of the chaotic order of outer space. At the same time the intricate floral patterns bring us back down to the beauty of our own little planet.
If you wish to have a first-hand Missoni experience, you now have the chance to do that close to home – Missoni’s first ever UK-based retrospective exhibition Missoni, Art, Colour will open its doors to the public at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London on May 6. Originally organised at the MA*GA Art Museum in Gallarate, Italy, it is curated by Luciano Caramel (art critic historian, served as commissioner at the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadriennale); Luca Missoni (Missoni Archive artistic director); and Emma Zanella (contemporary art historian, museologist and director of MA*GA Art Museum), and it is not one to be missed.
“This exhibition is designed to showcase the creative process of knitting artwork into fashion forms. It’s always a great challenge to rediscover the potential of our colourful heritage to make unique, positive experiences. I am pleased that The Woolmark Company will be our partner in bringing this exhibition to London. Wool is an essential ingredient in our work, so much so that wool has practically become a synonym for Missoni: Missoni, knit, wool; wool, knit, Missoni.”
Let’s finish with a lovely bunch of photographs of the Missoni family in their home – the most interesting part of a designer’s practice is always the design of their own personal abode. Hopefully we can all be as cheerful and smiling in our homes as they are!