This past Friday saw the public opening of the Missoni Art Colour Exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, London Bridge.
I had grabbed a deal through Time Out London to get two for one tickets, so my husband and I wandered into town this weekend for a gander.
I have known of and admired Missoni as a fashion house for a number of years, partially because they make some stunning items, and partially because they, as a family, have kept the business running. It’s not often that you hear of a family run business still being run within the family years later, let alone a world renowned fashion house doing the same. I have a lot of respect for the Missoni family as well as the company, as it must take a lot of patience, love, and open genuineness to keep going together, in such a crowded industry.
The exhibition wasn’t so much about their fashion house, but how their whole lives have helped to develop the company. Their love of art linked seamlessly into their fashion and both exhibited an understanding of colour that we now recognise in Missoni’s knit wear.
The exhibition began with three videos showing the production of the garments seen on their catwalk shows, beautifully presented, almost an immersive experience with the three being shown simultaneously on different screens in front of you.
You then entered a hallway with paintings that began to show the influence from art into their fabric patterns.
The next room had some real impact, as you entered you immediately saw the stands with the mannequins displayed as if at the finale of a show.
But this was not the only thing that gave the space impact. All around were huge wall hangings made from, what looked like knitted fabric samples. Obviously there wold have been through and process put into creating their intricate pieces.
Really inspiring for those of us who can’t knit whole items. But they are also statement to the way in which Missoni uses colour and pattern to create art work through knitting.
Up stairs was another space showcasing art work, many of which encouraged you to look a little closer to get the full perspective.
This might look like a very minimalist painting, but what you can’t see is that the black lines are actually slashes in a layer of canvas. The black that you can see is a second layer of canvas behind the slashed layer. The white paint has dried and curled the slashed edges to reveal the black behind. Not only is the initial view very pleasing, but the technique used it quite original and effective.
From a distance this piece looks as if it could be knitted fabric, or a digital print, but as this up close photo shows, there is actually many precision brush strokes.
On the balcony looking over the main space, there were three glass display cases set up to illuminate a collection of fabric samples, that not only showed the breath of possibilities of pattern, but also colour that are synonymous with Missoni.
I thought this quote by Luca Missoni was just beautiful and self explanatory, and I 100% agree.
The last room was set up to be a cinema or movie room, showing a somewhat grainy film of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, discussing what encourages, inspires and influences their work.
I LOVED this room. It is the kind of space, you can come in, sit down, I’m pretty sure someone got out a packed lunch, and marvel at the stunning life’s work of a great couple. It felt like you were round a friends house.
One of my favourite moments from the film, was when Ottavio was talking about the colours that they use. He described it like this, there are seven colours, but like musical notes, they can be used to create beautiful melodies, however it is the harmonies in the music that are important. I just thought that was a stunning analogy of how colours work and helped me to think about using them in a new way.
Overall I think this was a great exhibition. I actually would recommend this to anyone; there is more to this than simply viewing work from a fashion house, there is a family history shown through art, there is colour, their is craft, there is a sense of, “what can you achieve?”.
Let me know what you thought?