Expectations were high at Missoni. The house is coming off a string of strong seasons, including fall’s spectacular pastel home run, not to mention last month’s Missoni for Target launch, the consumer frenzy for which crashed the retailer’s Web servers. That alone is evidence of the label’s reputation and level of brand awareness — worthy of an S&P upgrade. So perhaps it doesn’t matter that the collection Angela Missoni showed for spring was a malfunction. It was a pity, too, since before the show, Missoni divulged a promising theme. “She’s a very happy girl, full of life,” she said. “She’s been dancing all night and she’s coming back now in the early morning.” What fun! Can we come?
As it turned out, the good-time girls were more like a band of less-than-tony gypsies in dresses with dangling ruffles that fell off the shoulders and cascaded into asymmetric skirts. Decked in loopy layers — whether a dress or crop top and sheer skirt, some layered over pants — the models looked like they might offer to read your palm.
A big part of the problem was that the Missoni knits are a force of nature on their own, and at their best in pretty mélanges. Here, they were set ablaze in a clash of colors — purples, peacock blues, yellow and brown — spliced with animal prints, then piled with fringe. It was the equivalent of textural warfare.