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“Missoni Art Colour” at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum addresses the brand’s links to 20th century Italian art. Using art from Italian museums the show offers a chance to see many works on display in Britain for the first time.

These Futurist and Post-modernist works, featuring heavyweights from Balla to Fontana, complement the (previously unseen) studies, sketches and paintings of founder Ottavio Missoni.

This brand was, and remains, more than a fashion label and it deserves a place within a wider cultural history: a creative enterprise which flowed alongside the theories of its artistic contemporaries.

At the centrepiece of the show are, unsurprisingly, designs from the Missoni archive: 42 mannequins form a pyramid of the most recognisable and iconic moments in the brand’s 60-year history.

These pieces are presented under flickering spotlights and a sound installation by contemporary Italian composer Pietro Pirelli – dubbed a ‘textile symphony’ in the museum’s caption – to highlight how Missoni can be viewed through the prism of the visual arts. 

Founder of Missoni, Rosita Missoni attends the Missoni Art Colour preview in partnership with Woolmark at The Fashion and Textile Museum

What the exhibition makes clear is that Ottavio and Rosita Missoni were a formidable duo: Ottavio the unrelenting creative and Rosita the fashionista who guided the empire as we know it today.

Missoni, of course, is still known for its eclectic mix of colour, pattern and knit and ‘Missoni Art Colour’ represents not only an important milestone and recognition of the brands history and influence but also its’ acceptance within an exclusive art world. All the time emphasising its specific Italian heritage.

Missoni Art Colour is at the Fashion & Textile Museum until 4th September.