Loungewear

Rosita on Angela.
My family has been making loungewear, pyjamas and embroidered fabrics since the 1920s. My husband, Tai, by chance had been a knitter – he was a track and field champion and his family made active sportswear in the 1940s – so it was always in our DNA. When we married in 1953, I knew that I wanted to do fashion. In 1958 we had our first success of an order of 500 shift dresses, in charcoal with an orange stripe, and in brown and beige with a purple stripe. It was very bold for that time. This was the year in which Angela was born. Our first atelier was 100 square metres on the bottom floor of our studio apartment – she grew up with two older brothers, Luca and Vittorio, and the factory was their playground. They played with the hanks, the trolleys, the yarns.

Angela was always very strong; more independent than her brothers. She loved to be glamorous; for Christmas aged four she asked for a beauty case, and my sisters gave her lipstick and rouge, and she came to Christmas dinner all made up. My grandparents were horrified. She started to look after the accessories in 1992, but she was always pregnant! One day she decided to prove to herself that she could handle a whole collection, so she produced an Angela Missoni line in the factory. There were no stripes, no patterns, just solid colours. It was good. After two years and four seasons, I told her I felt tired. She said she felt ready to take over [the creative direction] and the change was automatic. She was young, she had strength, the factory workers loved her, and there was nothing to explain because she knows how to produce a collection. It was the story of her life. We are very different – she is like a lioness, she is so protective of her children – but she keeps the family together. She is a mother hen.

Fashion Designers of America

There was no Lady Gaga wearing a spiked thong. And Johnny Depp, proclaimed a style icon by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, was a no-show. Thus, this year’s CFDA awards Monday night at New York’s Alice Tully Hall were a subdued affair spiced only by the willingness of host Seth Meyers to take a few lusty pokes at an industry that too often takes itself all too seriously.
“Fashion and comedy go together like bar mitzvahs and John Galliano,” Meyers joked in his opening monologue, referring to the former Christian Dior designer who was fired for his anti-Semitic comments. The audience responded with self-conscious groans and moans as if to suggest that Meyers had crossed some sacred line. But Meyers was not daunted. He took a swipe at Karl Lagerfeld for his obsession with weight. He teased Marc Jacobs for his eccentric ensemble—a sheer black lace dress worn over white boxers—at the recent Costume Institute ball. (He even strutted out in a version of the ensemble at the half-way mark for a moment of pure visual comedy.) And then Meyers essentially dared the audience not to laugh: “Fashion people like hating things more than they like liking things.”
Bravo to Mr. Meyers. He was spot on. The truth might hurt, but it was also mighty funny.
There was an abundance of truthfulness and realism to this year’s CFDA awards, and a lot less glitz. Those who were honored represented the often-ignored behind-the-scenes powerhouses, as well as the folks who make clothes that average consumers wear, not just the rarified few. The CFDA honored a designer who shuns the spotlight and is, perhaps, more admired because of it, along with a duo who redefined what it means to be celebrity designers.

The starlet presenters this year still sparkled and smiled, but they did not seem to shine as brightly as they have in the past. There wasn’t the sense of that powerful gravitational pull of big-name actors and actresses who tend to turn the evening into an homage to Hollywood rather than a celebration of Seventh Avenue.  Jessica Chastain may be a rising talent, but it’s still hard to remember exactly which pampered Southern lady she played in The Help. Jessica Pare serenaded Don Draper on Mad Men but the fascination with her rendition of “Zou Bisou Bisou” is still a bit baffling.  And Lily Collins is an adorable young actress, but a Google search was necessary before one was able to place her as the daughter of singer Phil Collins who also had a role in The Blind Side.

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