In 2016 The Fashion and Textile Museum presented the exhibition Missoni Art Colour (check out our Exhibitions Archive post on the show here). We recently re-discovered a fabulous video from the blockbuster show, in which Head of Exhibitions Dennis Nothdruft sits down with Time Out to talk fashion as an art form and what curation means to him. But first, a little from Dennis on Missoni:
With the founding of their eponymous company in 1953 in Gallarate, Italy, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni forever changed the fashion world’s – and our – perceptions of the knitted garment. The blend of Ottavio’s interest in art, design and colour with Rosita’s innate sensibility to clothing engendered a whole new approach to dressing. The first Missoni fashion collection, ‘Milano-Simpathy’, was presented by the couple at the famous La Rinascente store in 1958. The first fashion show for the press was staged in 1966; the unconventional use of colour and pattern in knit was the first of many successful shows over the following decades.
The innovative use of colour, line, rhythm, and pattern in machine knits remains a hallmark of the Missoni brand today. Ottavio’s continual research and exploration into the possibilities of industrial knitting processes revolutionized the field; Rosita’s inspiration for a layered, multi-patterned look in fashion may be accepted today but was no less revolutionary when it was introduced on the catwalk.
The exhibition Missoni Art Colour presented the unique knitted textiles and fashion looks from the company as well as works of art that were critical to the development to the Missoni approach. Ottavio and Rosita Missoni’s interest in 20th Century art and design was apparent; the exhibition allowsed the viewer a rare opportunity to see both Missoni designs and fine art from Futurism to Postmodernism.
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