One of the most recognizable names in fashion, Missoni pioneered aesthetic and technical innovations that changed knitwear forever. With the complex combinations of different shades, textures and patterns, husband and wife team Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, founders of the Italian maison ushered in a new age of sportive high fashion.
As the late Diana Vreeland,the celebrated Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue said when she met the Missonis for the first time in 1969, “‘Who said there are only colors, there are shades too!” Vreeland also said that she found the Missoni’s concept of fashion “ingenious”.
Following this encounter, Missoni collections, with their characteristically bold use of zigzags, stripes and kaleidoscopic colors, began travelling the globe, attracting ever greater attention and gaining an international audience.
Through the years, Ottavio and Rosita’s path has been followed by their children Angela, Vittorio and Luca, who today continue to keep alive the spirit of the Missoni style all over the world.
The exhibition Workshop Missoni: Daring to be Different at the Estorick Collection, curated by Luca Missoni with the support of the Fondazione Ottavio e Rosita Missoni, is displayed in three galleries, each of which can be viewed independently.
Rather than focusing on finished products, the exhibition will take the viewer ‘behind the scenes’ of Missoni, exploring the technical working processes involved in the production of their fabrics and clothing and revealing their underlying sources of inspiration – including the fine arts.
The Missoni working process will be explored in a collection of drawings and sketches on squared paper by Ottavio for the creation of knitted fabric. Many of these reveal the origins of the specific graphic elements and chromatic compositions stemming from the early ‘70s that formed the basis of the unmistakable Missoni style.
A personal view of the evolution of this style will be included in the form of a collection of photographic images and documents chronicling the life work of Ottavio and Rosita over the last five decades.
The exhibition will also contain Casa di Moda (Fashion House), two video-based works of Ali Kazma, a Turkish artist, concerned with different aspects of the Missoni working process, from conception to realization.
Workshop Missoni: Daring to be Different will offer a fascinating and rare glimpse into the working life of one of the most renowned fashion houses working today.
Exhibition: Workshop Missoni: Daring to be Different
Dates: 1 July to 20 September 2009
Location: Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square, London N1 2AN
Tel. +44 (0)20 7704 9522
Fax. +44 (0)20 7704 9531
Wednesday to Saturday 11.00 to 18.00 hours.
Sunday 12.00 to 17.00 hours
Late night opening on Thursdays until 20.00 hours
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
£3.50, includes permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
Free to under-16s and students on production of a valid NUS card.
Library, by appointment only, £2.50 per visit.
Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, 96 pages, with an essay by Caroline Cox, Professor of Cultural History at the University of the Arts London.
How to get there:
Victoria Line, Overground and First Capital Connect to Highbury & Islington; First Capital Connect to Essex Road; buses: 271 to door; 4, 19, 30, and 43 to Upper Street/Canonbury Lane; 38, 56, 73 and 341 to the junction of Essex and Canonbury Roads.