Friday, January 27, 2012

Tradition, family values and Italian passion - translated as MISSONI

Tales of the Missoni history and family were presented by the one and only Angela Missoni Wednesday night at the V&A.  Family portraits, smiling faces and three generations of working people contributed to what today is MISSONI - the famous Italian fashion house .

Angela Missoni

When you talk Missoni you talk fashion, you talk business, you talk family, love, hard work and passion. Angela shared the life of her parents since they met at the London Olympic Games in 1948 up until they married in 1953 and joined forces to start up their own business in knitwear.

Her father (Ottavio Missoni) was a very passionate athlete and ran the 400m at the London Olympics in 1948
1958 the first dresses for La Rinascente -  Milano, Italy
Ottavio Missoni at work
 Missoni were the pioneers of the pret-a-porter collections

Before all the printing and knitting machines were developed , Ottavio Missoni used to do everything by hand . He designed the fabrics on a plain paper using stripes and different numbers for the chosen colours. Then he sent the pattern and swatches to be knitted.

Margherita (Angela's daughter) and Rosvita Missoni (Angela's mother)
Angela with her two daughters - Margherita and Tereza
The rise of Margherita was one of the chapters that Angela talked about and explained how her daughter became so famous and publicized.  It was one evening when Angela was invited to go to this party and wasn't able to attend so she asked Margherita to take on the 'burden' and attend in her mother's name. At the time Margherita had just recently graduated from high-school and was happy to do 'as mum says'.

The next day there was an article in the newspaper, signed by Suzy Menkes that Margherita is the one to 'WATCH'. After that everything just came flowing, Carine Roitfeld and Mario Testino asked her to do a story, then followed a 16 page spread in Vogue US and so the road was opened to the newest Missoni jewel.

Some of the campaigns and collections along the years 

The latest MISSONI Menswear AW 12/13 presented last week in Paris
 The new MISSONI campaign was also revealed for the first time Wednesday night :

Missoni campaign - inspired by the family vacation in Madrid

Maria Carla posing for MISSONI

Angela Missoni tried to clean up the collections and find an identity for the brand that would be representative throughout the years. She tried to follow  a line that would make the brand strong and resonant on the market , all the while trying to always move forward and never repeat anything from the past.
Ottavio Missoni - fun italian spirit
Angela Missoni during her interview
A.M:  ''We were there.... I remember the first Missoni show, I must have been five or six, but I was there! I remember Anna Piaggi wearing a black little dress with a trail of pearls.'' That was sometime in the 1960's when Anna Piaggi still adopted a very simple, clean look, the total opposite of her present outfits.

Exhibited posters , campaign adds and garments from the MISSONI archive at the V&A:

MISSONI - a  vivid, joyful example of a successful family business, that is still surviving after generations and is making a strong impact on the world of fashion.

All Photographs were taken during and after the interview at the V&A. (The ones that are a bit blurry and unclear are due to the fact that they were taken on the projected screen in the room. I do apologize for the poor quality)

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