Missoni Illuminates Milan Fashion Week

The storied label looks at SS23 through an electrifying prism.

Missoni’s newest womenswear collection invigorates Milan Fashion Week with a primary-colored tribute to all things contemporary. Under the new artistic direction of industry veteran Filippo Grazioli, the show meditates on modernity through sensuous fabrics, sleek transparencies, and striking embellishments.

Grazioli’s garments speak in CMYK, the graphic design color language comprised of cyan, magenta, yellow, and key – a technical term for black. When printed, these four shades combine to form the full-color spectrum of the world around us.In boiling down our technicolored reality to its most basic visual ingredients, Grazioli offers a potent lens for viewing the present. This perspective feels radiant and joyful while crisp and tempered. As such, the show’s first several looks feature energetic patterns in an understated, black-and-white palette.

One high-contrast two-piece expertly hugs the body, as its dynamic print contrasts vertical stitching with fluid contours. The look is incredibly geometric; a triangular cutout creates an eye-popping centerpiece between the trapezoidal halter top and rectangular mid-rise slacks.As Grazioli introduces color to the mix, his garments grow increasingly airy and charismatic. The designer displays four iterations of a sheer sweater-skirt set, each look a monochromatic rendering of a CMYK tone.

The magenta variation is particularly effective in using color to elevate the translucent fabric. Intricate, abstract line-work invokes a fashionable software glitch, while glimmering, silver buttons contribute to the collection’s triangle motif. The pieces teem with tasteful contrasts: a conservative top above a playful skirt, enticing sequins against matte color blocks, and thick-rimmed sunglasses paired with delicately strapped heels.A cyan pencil dress practically vibrates with rhythmic patterns contained inside a traditional silhouette. The juxtaposition of these elements gives rise to breathtaking tension, an elegant tug-of-war between austere and exuberant. Frayed strands of jet-black knots contribute to this thoughtful interplay, adding a wispy quality to an otherwise structured look.One of the show’s final outfits is a form-fitting yellow gown that unites the collection’s most intriguing themes. The now-familiar glitch pattern stretches downward across the arms and torso, balancing the upward slope of the dress’s dramatic slit. This piece is another example of sweater-like knitting against breathable fabric, two textures that complement the smooth heaviness of circular statement earrings.Though Grazioli basks in all things modern, he graciously nods to Missoni’s past. The use of translucent fabric references the banning of Rosita and Ottavio Missoni from a 1967 show in Florence after their sheer designs sparked outrage. Meanwhile, the collection’s body-contoured silhouettes recall Missoni’s classic bustier. These choices reflect our understanding of the present as perpetually forward-moving while mired in rich history.

Meticulously staged on a mirrored runway, this contemporary collection poses a spectacular study on color and light. The show is alluring, exciting, and irresistibly bold.

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