Missoni Tribute

Missoni has been in the headlines a lot lately – unfortunately for a very sad reason. Here is the latest headline about the disappearance of the company’s CEO in a plane crash. All of this recent attention to the celebrated Italian fashion house inspired us to pull out a couple of our pieces. We have never exhibited any of the Missonis in our collection although we have more than a dozen. The couple of pieces that we dressed last week have reminded us why Missoni has become such a famous name. When the museum opens tomorrow we will have a two ensembles on view in the niche in the front lobby.

Missoni Ensemble, 1968 KSUM 1983.1.733abc
Missoni Ensemble, 1968, KSUM 1983.1.733abc
Missoni Ensemble (detail), 1968, KSUM 1983.1.733a-c

The first piece dates from about 1968 (KSUM 1983.1.733 a-d). The ensemble is quintessentially Missoni with its brilliant colors and intricate knits. The characteristic zigzag pattern on the skirt is actually created through a unique technique of knitting along alternating angles.

Detail of skirt (KSUM 1983.1.733 b)
Detail of Missoni skirt, 1968 (KSUM 1983.1.733 b)

The detail of the skirt reveals the brilliance of the colors but also the elaborate knit technique.

The second outfit, which dates to the early 1980s, is a little subtler, but don’t let the solid color fool you into thinking it is boring (KSUM 1996.75.2 a-d). The two sweaters each have beautiful, complicated knit patterns. On closer look you will see that the pants which appear to be a herringbone twill are actually knit, as well!

KSUM 1996.75.2a-d
Missoni Ensemble, 1980s (KSUM 1996.75.2a-d)
KSUM 1996.75.2a-d knit detail
Detail of Missoni sweater, 1980s (KSUM 1996.75.2a-d)
KSUM 1996.75.2d detail
Detail of Missoni pants, 1980s (KSUM 1996.75.2a-d)

Sara Hume, Curator


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