It was out there, no question. “This girl is a metropolitan heroine whohas a fantasy of fusing herself with nature,” said Angela Missoni of hercollection during a preview. “She’s rebirthing from the earth butsometimes she gets stuck.” The odds of that statement translating on therunway seemed slim, until Missoni proved it with a fantastic lineupthat illustrated her dreamy vision with improbably wearable clothes.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise — fall is prime time for Missoniknits, here presented in remarkable fabrications, many of which arenearly impossible to explain, and narrow silhouettes that captured theurban sophistication Missoni was talking about. Slim pants, body-huggingdresses and pencil skirts with tight turtlenecks were the collection’score, often topped by chunky cardigans or long woven coats for texturedtailoring. The signature graphic mélanges and woven techniques came inearth and mineral tones — tawny brown, asphalt gray, red, crystal blue —creating a colorful look that wasn’t bright. Some of the patterns,gleaming with Lurex shine, were meant to resemble marble and bark, andthey did, thankfully, without bearing too close a resemblance.

Though the earthy nature of the clothes was obvious, they were groundedin sleekness. Some of that was owed to impeccable styling — long leathergloves, skinny belts cinched under the bust, shoulders wound in tightballerinalike wraps, shiny Latex turtlenecks and rich fur collars — thatreeled everything in with polished control. As Missoni said, “You can’tlet her dream too much or she’ll fly away.”

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