Flames in the night sky. Seagulls circling choppy waters. For spring, Angela Missoni worked the four elements — water, earth, fire, air — for some bold pattern play, packaged with a peripatetic theme, from Middle to Far East, that informed her silhouettes. All mixed together, they pulled Missoni into multiple directions.
The designer started with a striking sea motif, rendered, as she noted backstage before the show, “like a Japanese comic.” A print on an asymmetric dress, a top with a neckline folded origami style, and a sarong all worked into the theme. It may have provided a strong visual, but the look was more chicly rendered when Missoni took a more abstract and subtle path, as in the laser-engraved knitted black top teamed with a printed napa sarong.
Some in the audience saw a deeper subtext in these prints — a way, perhaps, for the designer to creatively work through the tragic disappearance of her brother Vittorio Missoni over the Venezuelan seas in January — but that was not the intention, according to the company. Missoni, for her part, had travel on her mind, which she explored via sari and caftan silhouettes, reworked in the house’s famously vibrant colors. And her draped fringe dresses, in particular, will dazzle in any exotic location.
While she translated the idea with energy and precision — no room for hippie excursions here — the strong design statements left little room for that softer sense of romance associated with journeys to far-flung destinations.