Knitwear for winter is a no-brainer, so Missoni - the Italian family-run crew of premier knit-wits - were well placed to capitalise this season. They have a wicked way with a digital programme, a dream and a couple of hundred shades and gauge of yarn, all of which were given a strenuous work-out
Knits appeared marbled, so striated were they with variegated yarns of tan, red, green, sand, brown, black, the list goes on. Toned down, and slightly sand-bleached in their combination, these were mixed into fabric, sliced apart and patchworked before being worked into Missoni's easy cardigans, capes and dresses, opened over bared flesh with giant zippers down the spine. There was a tribal feeling, turtlenecks abstracted from sweaters and bound with silver coils like Maasai neckpieces and blankets of rough-hewn patched wool draped loosely around the body, sometimes fastened with giant metal pins. That came through in colour too - flashes of brilliant, blood-red cashmere thread mottling a wide-cut poncho, or lush, vegetable green spicing up a skirt. There was a genuine feel of injecting handcraft into these knits - occasionally that went too far, as with a series of multi-coloured hand-crocheted dresses and tops that looked more like sofa-throws than real clothes. But they embodied the admirable idea of putting the imperfect touch, indeed the human touch, back into fashion.
As stated, this is very much a family operation. When she came out to take her bows, Angela Missoni pulled the whole clan up from their humble perch on stairs beside the catwalk and shared her bow with them - how's that for the human touch in the oft-sterile world of Milanese high-fashion?