Missoni'sstripes lead the fashion parade

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The Independent Online
Prettiness and femininity are the buzz words in Milan this week at the collections for spring/summer 1997. The strict minimal lines of the past few seasons have been interrupted by soft frills, floral prints, transparent billowing chiffon and necklines that drape softly.

Yesterday at Missoni, the luxury knitwear label that recently celebrated 40 years in business, the label proved that it has resurrected itself from the dull and fusty with one of the best shows in Milan all week.

Inspiration was taken from the sea, with the trademark Missoni stripes in watery blues and greens as well as warm sandy tones.

The fact that one-quarter of the audience was wearing pieces of Missoni, from a stripy knit scarf to the full-blown dress of the editor of French Vogue, is a sure sign that the label is hip again. The store has reached the top three of the fashion crowd's shopping destinations, along with Gucci who showed last night, and Prada.

Missoni's shop assistants have been surprised by an unexpected surge of models and fashion press who have been stopping off to buy a simple patterned tunic or an heirloom scarf.

In Milan, some things do not change each season at the whim of fashion. Missoni has been working along the same lines for almost half a century. And one of the world's fashion giants, Giorgio Armani, who declared earlier this month that fashion is dead, showed his Emporio Armani line with classic tailoring and sporty separates, while MaxMara presented a collection of elegant classics that ranged from beautifully tailored pure white fluid trouser suits to basic essentials in lightweight denim.