Pink’s Hot Dogs, open since 1939, may not be the newest, trendiest restaurant in Los Angeles. And that was the point, said Margherita Maccapani Missoni, who chose the oldie-but-goodie as the setting to show her third collection for M Missoni on Tuesday afternoon.
Upping the kitsch factor, models arrived via a Missoni-branded double-decker Starline, vamping off the Hollywood tour bus and onto the parking lot dance floor for a groove-off. Just a few blocks from some of the city’s most loved vintage stores, the setting suited the designer’s new strategy for the Missoni family diffusion brand, which has gone from missy to magpie bohemian since she took over as creative director last year and added upcycling to the story, showing her first collection in September on a trolley traversing the streets of Milan.
“The tour bus is a B side of L.A., not necessarily the cool side, same with Pink’s. I like that…” she said. “[M Missoni] is the B side of Missoni, everything here has a narrative in the past, whether it’s the stitch of a dress or the shape of a coat, but always twisted,” she added, sharing details of her own look as an example: a blanket jacket adapted from an old Missoni pattern, and remade in au courant technical fleece, worn with chinos patchworked with old Missoni print at the cuffs.
The men’s and women’s collection hopscotched vintage eras, from Forties-inspired pajama dressing, rendered in the house’s soft knits, to a sequined Seventies patchwork maxi-skirt mama Angelina Missoni would love; “Soul Train” Lurex knit suits, and Nineties grandpa cardigans, “M” logo Ts, and hip-hop tracksuits.
Flared knit pants, which came in six patterns and designs, looked particularly good with sneakers, and could be rearing for a fashion comeback as a fashionable lounge alternative to Lululemons, and patchwork-patterned puffers were on point. The show’s inclusive casting (all ages and sizes) was modern for an Italian brand, even if the collection’s throwback pieces felt so layered on at times, it was hard to tell what was “new” and what might actually be vintage — from Missoni or Jet Rag up the street.
Then again, M Missoni is selling an attitude. And the L.A. scene added a new chapter, with famous fashion-show-seat-crasher James Goldstein parking his white Rolls-Royce out front, and an Instagram wall set up beneath a billboard for injury law attorneys. The brand decided at the last minute not to distribute Pure Beauty gift bags with THC cigarettes at the event, but classic chili dogs and veggie dogs were on offer for those who had the munchies.
“The U.S. is a very important market for us, so we wanted to come back here and show how the brand is very different from what it was before,” said Missoni, adding that she has been using upcycled yarns and fabrics from the Missoni archives and elsewhere for a more sustainable design process. “I don’t want to say I’m making an eco collection, but my goal every season is to get a little closer. We already have clients who just buy the upcycled pieces.…We are living in a time when there is an awakening of some sort, and fashion is meant to be the reflection of the time we live in.”