missoni fall rtw 2011 milan fashion week

A quick glance at the program uncovered Angela Missoni’s premise. “Fairy-tale creatures,” it read, “enchanting and enchanted fairies.” Indeed, the collection proved a wondrous flight of fancy, yet one wonderfully flush with gorgeous real-world clothes. Missoni’s dreamy references were everywhere, particularly in the color palette. With everyone jumping on the punchy brights bandwagon, she struck a bold move in choosing gentle pastels — sorbet yellow, lilac, blush pink, baby blue and popsicle orange, softened even further with an overarchingdégradé motif. The embroideries, too, were sweetly charming, including one adorable version featuring princesslike figures. (Some gals sported crowns; others, parasols.)

But Missoni kept things from veering too saccharine with plenty of smart counterpoint. For starters, all the models wore biker boots, albeit done in pretty suedes and snakeskin. She also cast everything in slouchy, boyish and street-urchin silhouettes, with ample strains of Nineties Seattle made delightfully upbeat. Pants came baggy; loose jackets and shorts were in raw-edged bouclés. The knits were extra exquisite this time, superbly chunky and oversize, tuck-stitched, intarsia-ed and lushly folded into basketweave patterns. And, as elsewhere, coats were standouts, especially the floor-sweeping versions in patchworks of colored snakeskin. What made this collection so refreshing was the optimistic overhaul of the grunge. Then again, Missoni is no stranger to reinventing tradition. On that point, the house zigzags were reinterpreted here as a striking Norwegian pattern on a plush mink coat. Simply meraviglioso.

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missoni fall rtw 2011 milan fashion week