MILAN, Italy — Angela Missoni took over the creative direction of the family brand 20 years ago, so there’s been a bit of a celebration going on in Milan. Vogue Italia made a nice little supplement to mark her anniversary, and Missoni’s Spring/Summer 2018 show became the excuse for an evening-long wingding, from catwalk to dinner to after-party dancefloor. You needed to bear that in mind when you sat down to reflect on the real heart of it all, the clothes that Angela showed.
From the moment Kiki Willems stepped out in a sparkly, sheer slip dress, it was clear that Missoni had gone to another place. Head Space! Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack was a flibbertigibbet rampage through dance tracks we knew and loved in the Second Summer of Love, and the girls walked in floaty, flighty, lacy, languidly clingy and oh-so-sheer bodycon confections that effortlessly evoked saucer-eyed sweethearts at the Café del Mar. “These are the kids I want to have at my party,” said Angela. It was gauzily gorgeous wish fulfilment, it was an education in Missoni’s ability to turn knitwear into gossamer, but it didn’t do an awful lot towards advancing Missoni’s claim on the everyday.
Fortunately, this was also the season when Missoni launched its women’s and men’s collections simultaneously. There were odd moments when the menswear embraced the sheerness of the women’s clothing, but otherwise, it was a textbook update of the brand’s grasp of colour and pattern. The standouts were the patchwork sweaters, but the ingenious, seductive layering of stripes, plaids, chevrons, and warping test patterns was a reminder of just how successfully Angela Missoni has managed to keep her family business humming well into its eighth decade.