Missoni creates looks for the urban surfer

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

MILAN (AP) — Missoni recognizes men's desire to escape, and be one with nature.

The fashion houses collection for next fall and winter, presented on the second day of Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, had the urban surfer in mind.

He wakes early and pulls on a heavy cable sweater and knit sweat pants, slips his feet into a pair of tufty wool-lined sandals and heads to the beach to catch the waves before a day at the office. Emerging from the sea, he shakes off the salty water and wraps himself in a luxurious blanket of patchwork knit.

The duality of his life extends to his wardrobe. For the office, he can pair his knit pants or chords with a close-fitting top or shawl-collared sweater, worn with a knit jacket for a relaxed, yet functional office-ready look. For work, he can slip into a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse in Missoni knit and lined with shearling or side-zip boots in sheepskin. Who needs socks?

"He's an urban man who has a double life, who escapes from the city to find the perfect wave," creative director Angela Missoni said in an interview in Missoni's offices before the preview. "Instead of going jogging, they go surfing. It's cool."

Missoni's looks are by tradition relaxed and comfortable. The company was born as the maker of athletic wear, rooting what is a trend on the Milan runway this season deep in the fashion house's DNA.

The colors of the latest are inspired by the coastline: charcoal, greens, pine, indigo, with accents of orange and rust, the colors of the sunrise. Sea life motifs by a Milan-based graphic design studio, Carnovsky, are printed onto fabric for anoraks and jackets: jellyfish and octopus appear almost floral.

Luxurious sweaters are knitted from flax, and cashmere is mixed on the company's looms north of Milan, allowing a measure of softness within the masculinity because "men like to indulge, but not look like they are," Missoni said.

After suffering the loss of her brother in a plane crash and the death of her father, the company's founder, in 2013, Missoni is celebrating the birth of her grandson, Otto, four months ago.

"He's giving a lot of joy, and making everyone excited," she said.