Designer Ottavio (Tai) Missoni likes to joke that he and his wife, Rosita, got into stripes because they were the only patterns their early knitting machines could make. True or not, this affable designer couple was feted for an impressive, 40-year career in the designer knitwear business last week in Florence during the Pitti Immagine Filati yarns showcase.
The Missonis were honored in the Salone del Cinquecento of the Palazzo Vecchio before an audience of friends and colleagues that was a colorful sea of Missoni stripes — it seems everybody who had a Missoni wore one, including actress Monica Vitti.
Afterward, in the newly restored Teatro della Pergola, the couple inaugurated Missonologia, an exhibit featuring sketches, paintings, videos and key outfits from the last four decades. The exhibit will travel to Milan, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Singapore.
The celebration wound up with a garden dinner in the Missonis’ honor at La Limonaia, a private villa across the Arno owned by the Ferragamo family.

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