Posts Tagged ‘missoni week’

Hotel Missoni Kuwait. Image: highsnobeity.com 

Kuwait a minute, is that a Missoni hotel?

Maybe you haven’t noticed that the impulse to conquer the world didn’t die with Queen Cleopatra’s last snake bite, sending her to the realm of the dead – her hopes of Caesarion’s ascendence over both Western and Easter empires, last night’s dream. Families like the Rothschilds and probably to a lesser, more commercial degree, The Missonis, still propagate their wealth and power by dipping their hands into anything and everything. I mean, just look at Trump. The toupee on his head, which is most likely held in place by tiny gold threads to give it that rootstock appearance, would probably sell for a couple hundred thou just because it hovers oh-so-close enough to whatever that thing we call Trump is.

Why the world needs a Missoni hotel is hard to explain. But there it is, standing tall in Kuwait – and not so tall in Edinburgh, and soon in Brazil, Mauritius and Oman. The height of these latter edifices is still unknown. How tall will they be? Nobody knows!

I’ve always heard whispers about these s0-called Missoni hotels but never really thought that anybody actually stayed in them. For $365.00/night you can stay at the Hotel Missoni Kuwait this weekend. I got the price on hotwire.com, yo. But would you stay there? Or shudder at the risk of looking tacky? Like the woman decked out head-to-toe in the LV monogram – yes, including her fingernail art. I mean these concept hotels are great to blog about and visit on tours and stuff but after the novelty wears off wouldn’t you rather be at The Ritz?

(Quebec City’s Ice Hotel is an example par excellence. I took a tour of the hotel. It’s cool to visit for about 30 minutes. Then it gets really, really  cold. And completely uncomfortable. Plus you have to go OUTSIDE to a not-close-enough heated chalet, which has the interior decor of grade 8 overnight camp,  should you need to pee in the middle of the night. With my loosey-goosey bladder I might as well sleep in the goddamn cafeteria – also reminiscent of high school. There’s a vending machine. Lays chips and stuff).

Don’t get me wrong, I love Missoni. I probably wouldn’t stay in their hotels, though. If you’re an expert at knit sweaters and caftans then what the heck are you doing trying to design a bathtub!? (169 of them, to be exact). That’s just me. I’m a firm believer in going to the expert for every single thing you need. I’m not a fan of the Walmart mentality. The one-stop shop. Or a brand name that stamps its trademark onto all kinds of products. And I don’t think luxury brands fare too well adopting this said approach. They lose that rare cachet of specialization. Kinda like a cheesemonger selling iphone cases and cigarettes, I think.

 

Gisele in Missoni ads – my all-time favourite campaign.

Missoni started as a small knitwear business run by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni in the 1950s. A baby brand but as Emilia points out, one that flourished in the image of a prosperous post-war Italy. Missoni goes hand in hand with that silly, quasi-cartoon aesthetic that brought the likes of Swatch watch and Pino Daniele, coloured reading glasses and Levi jeans to the token Italian look. Since then the brand has grown in the hands of first-generation Missoni children into a world class luxury fashion house – but overall, Angela Missoni (creative director) has stayed true to her parents’ kaleidoscopic vision – colouring outside the lines whenever need be.

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Margherita Missoni illustration by Lisa Nishimura for Whatever Eurotrash.

If there’s any brand that embodies the effortless chic of being Eurotrash, it’s Missoni. There’s something so patently European about the colour zigzags that catch the discerning eye from miles away. As a sort of homage to the brand, Eurotrash shares a series of illustrations, articles and photographs that should sorta make you fall in love at first sight, or for some of us, all over again.

Part of the celebrations include a series of illustrations by Toronto-based illustrator, Lisa Nishimura. Such a shy girl to talk to at first, but her art speaks volumes about the caliber of artist you’re dealing with. I asked her a few questions about her work and her ambitions as she coloured away these gorgeous illustrations of Margherita Missoni. Having her pieces here on the blog is so super exciting for me!

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This is a love story. This is the story of how my soul mate and I finally came together after years of struggle. This is the story of Missoni and me.

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. My immigrant parents are italophiles who brought my siblings and I back to Italy every summer. We’d spend two months on the Argentario, the Amalfi Coast, the Italian Riviera. We’d listen to Lucio Battisti and Claudio Baglioni singing about summer love affairs at the seaside. I would see women on the lungomare in cork sandals, billowing kaftans and headscarves, bright colours in squiggles, zigzags and stripes evoking the bliss and freedom of summertime. These were the prints of Missoni, bold colours and patterns that spoke to Italy’s new-found place in modern Europe, an Italy still reveling in the prosperity of its miracle decade, the pains of the Euro yet years away.

When I became conscious of fashion years later, I coveted Missoni. Its multicoloured prints spoke to me like no other, and I yearned to pile print on print on print. I promised myself that when I “grew up”, I would wear only Missoni. The problem was, of course, the price. Missoni’s knits (and we are talking Missoni, not M Missoni, or Missoni for Target, or any other unfortunate lapse into democratic fashion, though Mare is fair game) come at a pretty penny. As a result, I was all grown-up (or so they keep telling me) and didn’t have ONE Missoni piece. Like other premier designer labels, Missoni just seemed so unattainable.

That is, until last November. In the brief valley between Fall and Resort collections, I experienced a revelation. Here I was. 26 years old, certainly trendy but not fashionable. I have some amazing accessories and several great pairs of shoes, but a Chanel bag doesn’t make you Anna Dello Russo. Far from it. Moreover, I found myself very much caught up in trends. Coloured jeans Fall 2011? Check. Jumpsuit and marine stripes summer 2009? Check. Leopard print Cruise 2011/2012? Check. It suddenly occurred to me that I was spending so much money on so many pieces that I would inevitably shy away from the next season. My wardrobe wasn’t getting bigger or better with all the money I was spending. Instead, I had to start from scratch, essentially, every new season.

I decided that I wanted to make the transition into that small group of real fashionistas, that tiny circle represented by Anna, Garance Doré et aliae who you see sprinting between shows at Paris fashion week or posing for pictures with André Leon Talley. I mean, no pap will snap my picture as I walk into Yorkdale. But you see what I’m getting at (I hope). I wanted to turn fashion into less of a trend-oriented activity towards something more permanent. Of course, although my creative capital is boundless, my actual capital is not. Thus, I do not expect to blossom into Chiara Ferragni tomorrow, or even next year. But I’m on my way, which leads me back to where I began.

In November 2011, then, I decided to dedicate myself to Missoni, my true love. Gone are the days of dedicating my time to ephemeral trends. Instead, I have begun to buy only Missoni (besides the strictly necessary, like jeans and white t-shirts). Since Toronto is a terrible place to buy Missoni (stores in the city only get a few of the most conservative pieces and I find the prices something like 20% higher than elsewhere), I spend my free moments monitoring online stores for zigzags in size 38. Admittedly, it’s feast or famine. Once I splurge on a good piece, that’s it for me for the next little while. Nevertheless, the pain and sacrifices are worth it, as I know I’m working towards a greater goal.

I’m at 5 pieces so far, and I have another piece arriving any day now. I really do feel as if this is it for me. I see myself in 30 years old piling print upon print upon print like in my dreams (I’ll have to remain a 38 for life!), channeling the carefree days in Italy of my youth. When I wear my stripes and zigzags, I just know this is love. And let me tell you, I never knew there was a love like this before.

 

 

 Margherita Missoni illustration by Lisa Nishimura for Whatever Eurotrash sketchandpixel.wordpress.com

The flu almost got the best of me last week but plenty of rest, oil of oregano, vegan soup and carrot juice got me through. Today I’m proud to announce the beginning of the MISSONI celebration here on Eurotrash. The house is a classic example of luxury knitwear in it’s most idiosyncratic form. The token Missoni prints and patterns have become synonymous with European chic. Once you see those stripes, you know the kind of lady you’re dealing with. Enjoy the subtle missoni-fied changes we made here on the blog and tune in for some special Missoni related posts, illustrations and photo shoots in the upcoming days!

xo Eurotrash