MODERN MISSONI

For the ultimate in Nineties glamour, all you have to do is put on your cardigan, says Tamsin Blanchard

In the eighties, there was tailoring. In the Nineties, there is knitwear. And if you are in search of a softer, more relaxed way of dressing, you need only slip on a neat little cardigan, because knitwear has gone from being a frump thing to a state-of-the-art, luxury, must-have thing. A whole new breed of knitwear designers have found the limelight. There is Brother Julien MacDonald, the ex-Royal College of Art student and protege of Karl Lagerfeld; Lainey Keogh, the Irish knitwear designer to the stars; and Martin Kidman, knitter of fine, simple pieces of cashmere that are just perfect but require serious spending power. The grandparents of the designer knit are Italians Tai and Rosita Missoni, now old enough (he is 76, she is 65) to be retired to their rocking chairs with the knitting needles clacking, but actually enjoying something of a revival. This is because nobody understands colour quite like the Missonis. Over almost half a century spent mastering the craft of knit and the art of fashion, they have produced something rarein f ashion: a product that is unique and worth every penny. There are imitations, plenty of them, since Missoni found a new lease of life a couple of seasons ago. Miss Selfridge, along with any other chain store with half an eye on catwalks, has paid homage to the signature Missoni zig-zag multi-coloured stripes. But the real thing is still unmistakable. Tai's patterns, worked out meticulously on graph paper, are something you just can't create on a computer. And a Missoni knit, be it a pair of knickers (now there's a novelty) or a T-shirt in earthy stripes, is a thing to treasure for ever. For much of the late Seventies and Eighties, Missoni was one of the shows in Milan that no fashion editor with anything more pressing to do would bother with. But since Angela Missoni, the couple's 39-year-old daughter, who has her own line mixing looser prints and knits in simple, modern shapes, came on board to inject a little modernity into the family style, the shows have been the hottest ticket of Milan Fashion Week. Last March, Andie MacDowell was the star attraction on the front row, and Jennifer Tilley, sister of Meg and herself a rising star in Hollywood, picked out a long, strappy sheath in watery stripes of blues and greens with a shimmer of sequins over the to p, to wear to the Missoni after-show party. The knitwear house had at last thrown off its fusty image and for evening, at least, become glamorous and sexy, a thinking person's Versace. If Angela can do all of that in just three seasons, just imagine what Margarita, Tai and Rosita's oldest grandchild at 14, and the future of the family business, could do with the label when she is old enough. Matches, the designer retailer with stores in Wimble-don and Richmond, bought the Missoni collection for the first time this summer. It flew out of the shops as soon as it hit the rails, and there are now only a few pieces remaining. "It has a broad appeal," explains Lina Basma, the buying assistant at Matches. "People love it because it's for all ages, from those in their twenties who are discovering it for the first time to men and women in their fifties who remember it from the Sixties and loved it then." Lina, who is 25, couldn't resist buying a vest top in shades of lilac and also a knee-length dress. "People are so bored of muted colours and black and brown," she says. But whatever your colouring, Missoni has something to make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle. And that, after all, is what fashion is all about. Above: yellow/red sequin halter dress, pounds 990; gold bangles by Detail, as before Left: green sequin bikini top; green sequin slash skirt, pounds 880 for set; bangles by Detail, as before

STOCKISTS All clothes by Missoni, available from A la Mode, 36 Hans Crescent, SW1; Browns, 27 South Molton Street, W1; Joseph, 77 Fulham Road, SW3, Bond Street, W1; Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1; Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1; Lisa Sterling, 3-4 St James House, St James Street, Manchester; Matches, 34/37A High Street, Wimbledon; Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, SW1

Arts and Entertainment
Kathy (Sally Lindsay) in Ordinary Lies
tvReview: The seemingly dull Kathy proves her life is anything but a snoozefest
Arts and Entertainment

Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boy

music
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig in a scene from ‘Spectre’, released in the UK on 23 October

film
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap

film
Arts and Entertainment

Poldark review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Brayben is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Carole King in Beautiful

film
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat