08 August 2010


Founders, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni

Since I mentioned Missoni in a recent post, I have been looking at a lot of pictures and videos of the Missoni family of designers. For many years I have loved Missoni clothing, and have also, more recently, been enamored of the Missoni Home line of designs.
As Oscar Wilde said, we need to allow the soul to experience joy through the senses, and of course, that's what my blog is all about, as well. A visit to the Missoni websites is a feast for the senses. Guests are treated to visually gorgeous colors and patterns, hear very hip music, can practically touch the textures of their textiles, and almost taste and smell the meals the Missoni family is shown enjoying together alla famiglia

I just love visiting both the Missoni and the Missoni Home websites. Everything about them is colorful and stylish - so quintessentially Italian! For interior and exterior design enthusiasts, the new 79-page digital  Missoni Home catalogue does not disappoint. The cover, alone, is enough to send me into alt. Then inside, the colors are so yummy, I could just eat them up! Look at pages 10-11 or 18-19 to get an idea of the genius they employ in color, texture and pattern combinations - absolutely incredible!

In his discussion entitled, Missoni and Seduction of the Creative Process, the neuroesthetic scientist, Luca Francesco Ticini explains human sensual understanding as a physiological phenomenon, and the basis of artistic inventiveness. Here's what he says in reference to the Missonis: "...when we look at a work of art or listen to a certain piece of music, when we taste a fine wine, when we wear Missoni, or when we win at sports... in all these instances, we feel particularly stimulated because the brain produces varying amounts of dopamine, a molecule which contributes to the feeling of pleasure. Artists engrossed in giving form to their emotions, passions and feelings are in a euphoric state because their brains are similarly infused with dopamine."

I say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, to the Missoni family for making my brain soar whenever I look at any of their designs! The more I see, the more I adore!!! 
Photo from 1989

So what makes Missoni fabrics so different from any others, even from their imitators, of which there are so many? They all incorporate a chromatic variation, made up of so many colors and tones and shades of those colors...in fact, their color combinations are infinite, which is why I believe they will never become boring. The intricately orchestrated relationships between these colors is compounded by unusual and beautiful textures and patterns that keep the eye ever interested. There is endless interplay and variation, leading to infinite new discoveries and thoughts - all provoked by these fabrics. Colors that most of us would never imagine putting together become harmonious on the Missoni looms. 

The legendary Diana Vreeland, longtime editor of Vogue Magazine in America, said, when she came across the young Missonis' new talent in the 1960's, "Look! Who said there are only colors? There are tones, too!"

Here is some eye candy from both the clothing and Home lines - Enjoy!

Some inspiration boards showing the Missoni genius for combining color, pattern and texture:

And for the child who has everything...

Or dog (!)...  (I believe this may be an imitation, but it is listed on-line as Missoni.)

A little history: Ottavio and Rosita Missoni started the company in 1953, the year they married. He was already producing knitwear on looms, and she came from a family that produced ladies's shawls. According to Rosita, "Our philosophy, since we went into business, has been that a piece of clothing should be like a work of art." Richard Martin, curator of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said "...the Missonis have often pointed out that they deny fashion," and also that "...they realized that modern design is a synergy between machine and art."

Today, the company is run by the couple's three children, Luca, Vittorio and Angela. Of the three, Luca Missoni is the one who has been the most creative with fabric design and is in charge of textiles, having experimented in new techniques at the Missoni factory, since he was in high school. 
Luca Missoni

And now the grandchildren, including the darling and much photographed Margherita Missoni, are entering the company, so the Missoni legend is sure to live on!
Margherita Missoni

One of my favorite recent innovations is the bottle and labels Missoni designed this spring, for San Pellegrino.
There is a great video about the bottle design process on the Missoni website. (It won't be there forever, as they change the website frequently.) To find it, click the arrow on the right side of your screen, and go until you see the San Pellegrino bottle. then click on it to start the video. There are some great shots of the multi-generational family all sitting around a big table, enjoying a meal together. I wish I could have been there!!
For more inspiration, I love the little book, Missoni (Made in Italy), by Leonardo Arte. It's mostly pictures, and is just plain fun to flip through from time to time. I always discover some new design idea in the Missonis' creations.

I just can't get enough of Missoni creations, and look forward to what they will come up with next!
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