MILAN, Italy — It was impossible to look at the collage of African tribal images on Angela Missoni’s mood-board and not see all sorts of synchronicities with her family traditions; with the zigzags and chevrons painted on warriors’ faces, with the patterns of scarification, and the stripes, patchwork and multi-colours of tribal clothing.
If Angela’s natural inclination in the past has been to try and show the versatility of those signatures, using them in as many ways as possible, here she just stepped back and let them speak for themselves. That meant it was a simple, repetitive collection. But, the single-mindedness upped the impact. There were essentially two stories: very long dresses, very short shorts. Sometimes the dresses were elongated t-shirts or tanks, sometimes the shorts became maillots or bikinis. What linked them were the colours — ruddier, earthier, tribal — and the lightness, bordering on sheerness, of everything.
Other key pieces in the collection were long flowing tunics and coats, part kimono, part djellaba, which had a glimmer of the hippie mood Missoni was toying with before last season’s hard-edged New Wave side-step. But, maybe, these girls were more urban nomads. In their leather sandals or Converse, it was easy to picture them hanging out on Abbot Kinney.
By the way, the tribal necklaces duplicated as knit collars offered a gift of a label for the symbiosis between Masai and Milan: Masaini.