milan fashion week: missoni
(images via style.com)
i don’t care how long you’ve looked at fashion, how jaded you’ve become. every season, there is that piece that just…the piece that you are here for. and there is a moment as you stare at it, thinking ‘this makes me fall in love with fashion all over again.’ it’s an entirely personal experience, speaking to whatever moves you in the art of fashion.
for me, that piece was the one at the top of this post. it speaks to me of the bay area do-it-yourself arts movement that forwards an entirely personal approach to fashion. in one of the warehouse communities i lived in, while most were struggling to get by fiscally, depressing as the days might be at low-paying, unfulfilling jobs, off time was spent staying up all night, making music, living art. and though it could be a desperate life, at these moments it was joyful & beautiful.
angela missoni’s brilliant collection took a lot of pathways, striking notes of goth or tribal as well as the crafty girl. she purposefully displayed some pieces backwards, or skirts and tops to be worn a variety of ways, reminding us of all the things we can become, that we are not stuck to only one option.
like spring’s ibeza-raver girl, this show reminded us that a house founded on knitwear need not look dowdy. it’s arguable that the fall collection was even better at hitting this point, considering that the temptation to make thick, cold-weather pieces must be great. but even the heavier pieces still managed to look light, and that takes a masterful hand.
not all the moments worked, and there were moments when several girls would pass before i would again feel fully engaged, though that was not neccessarily a fault. it’s a relief to see a designer address several girls who might be her consumer rather than hone in on only one per season. hence, some of the denser, heavily-patterned cape-like pieces didn’t jive with my personal style sensibilities.
returning once more to the warehouse fashion, i suppose the thing about it most inspiring to me was the ability to take castoffs, scraps of fabric & trim, or whatever one could find to assemble a garment. realistically, though, many of us are not sitting here with a fully-stocked sewing room of bits & ends at our fingertips, nor the time to make our own sculpted crinolines to go with our new antique birdcages. it took me a long while to realize there is a way around this.
the beauty of missoni’s show was in the versatility of the crafted looks. no, you may not be able to make your own pieces. but that doesn’t mean you have to lounge about looking dull, just like everyone else on the train. with a little creativity, you can take your readymade clothes, stretch them, turn them upside-down, and become anyone you wish.