Angela Missoni wins the location of the week award. She staged her Spring show in the Bagni Misteriosi, a giant public pool in the Porta Romana neighborhood of Milan, with 1,000 guests arrayed on the Missoni knit cushions that decorated the wooden amphitheater surrounding it. As spaces go, it was positively monumental. That put a lot of pressure on the clothes, but this collection was as good as Missoni gets.
Maybe that’s because it sprung from personal inspiration. Backstage, Angela Missoni explained, “where I started was this idea of a man and a woman—a couple—exchanging clothes. That couple, which was in my brain when I was a young teenager, was Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. She was getting clothes from his wardrobe, he was getting pieces from her.” Nothing complicated, then. Just suits and dandyish separates for the guys, and for the girls bohemian dresses with the occasional slouched-on shirt or masculine jacket worn over the top. So simple it almost sounds basic, but that’s where the house signature knits come in. Space-dyes, stripes, zigzags, polka dots, crochet, patchworks, ombrés—they were all in play. More often than not several came together in one outfit.
Layering like this can be intimidating to the uninitiated: Does this go with this? That with that? Missoni said not to overthink it. “I want it to be joyful, I want it to be happy and light—light in weight and light in spirit, and easy in the mix, also.” Some of the models carried crocheted and beaded basket bags like Birkin once did, with flowers cut from Missoni’s garden this morning. They were utterly winning.
On their finale tours, the models reemerged carrying Little Sun portable solar-powered lamps by Olafur Eliasson. Each time a Little Sun is purchased, according to the website, the social business “delivers one to someone living off-the-grid at a much lower, locally affordable price.” Yesterday’s Global Climate Strike didn’t go unnoticed by Missoni. “We cannot strike, we’re all working, so I called Olafur and asked for a thousand lamps so we can be hand-to-hand with the sun, so we can spread the ethos” about climate action. Some people in the crowd turned them on like lighters at a concert. Missoni achieved what she intended; we left happy.