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Workshop Missoni: daring to be different

2 July 2009
Published in Culture, Segnalazioni
by Giovanni Biglino

10spring-summercollection1968As colourful as Emilio Pucci, but in a geometric kaleidoscopic dimension, Missoni is a style. Vibrant and inventive, it is immediately recognisable, especially for its intricate knitwear patterns. Husband and wife Ottavio and Rosita Missoni have created a brand that is today celebrated with an exhibition at the Estorick Collection in London. The intimate museum in the borough of Islington, hosting the precious collection of art lovers Eric and Salomé Estorick, is a gem in the effervescent London cultural scene and is well-known for the quality of its small but refined exhibitions.

Celebrations of style-makers and couturiers are nothing new. Recent examples include the Giorgio Armani exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum or the Vivienne Westwood show at the V&A in London. However, the Missoni exhibition focuses on the creative process behind the actual cloth-making. Curated by Luca Missoni and by Fondazione Ottavio e Rosita Missoni, Daring to be different will include drawings from the family’s art collection of Italian art – works by Tancredi, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini – a perfect combination given the setting of the Estorick Collection. Alongside these artists, whose geometric approach to painting certainly is reflected in the Missoni patterns, works in tempera by Sonia Delaunay are on display, as they are a special source of inspiration for Rosita Missoni.

The exhibition includes two video installations by the Turkish artist Ali Kazma, centred around the creative process and the work of a major brand and suitably titled Casa di moda (Fashion house), while composer Pietro Pirelli has conceived a sound installation, Sinfonia tessile (Textile symphony), recording the sound of the Missoni knitting laboratory.

Very personal on the curatorial side, this exhibition celebrates a brand that has managed to create a unique recognisable style in which the artistic and the artisanal aspects are coexisting, as in the best tradition of the “made in Italy” concept. Celebration of a colourful style that was defined “ingenious” already in 1969 by Diana Vreeland, legendary Editor at Vogue who added: “Who said there are only colours, there are shades too!”.

Workshop Missoni: Daring to be different
Until 20 September 2009
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
39a Canonbury Square, London

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