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Missoni's many-layered memory lane pops with color

June 20, 2010 |  8:33 am


Spring and summer collections often key in on the notion of travel, and Missoni's Spring/Summer 2011 men's collection, shown in a festive garden format on Friday night, was no exception, though creative director Angela Missoni said it was more about traveling through memories than landscape.

"I started with memories  -- thinking about the kind of shirts my grandfather wore," she explained. "And layered things in from there."

Her motivation was an attempt to provide a kind of informal luxury. "When I see a man who usually dresses Rage_missoni_jacket  formally try to dress informally, it often doesn't work," she said, "it doesn't look right. So that's what I was trying to address."

Missoni's take on relaxed luxe included faded linen-cotton gabardine trousers and cargo shorts, extra-long patchwork jacquard poplin shirts with shrunken collars, layered sleeveless cardigans and long-sleeved cotton  T-shirts. The shoes were Missoni's take on the now-popular upscale deck shoe, done in standout shades of suede.

In fact, it was the pops of color that made the collection most memorable. Missoni  started with the sand-and-khaki palette that, over the last few seasons, has come to serve as a kind of sartorial shorthand for the today's sun-bleached desert nomad. But that was accented with flashes of acid green, carbon blue and lemon yellow, shades so vivid the models instantly captured the eye from across the crowded garden party. Rage_missoni_shoes

Combined with the signature Missoni zigzag and patchwork patterns, the effect was totally '80s -- though Angela Missoni denied the decade had been an intentional time-travel destination.

Asked about the cargo pocket, which was been gaining in popularity over the last few seasons, Missoni said it was all about utility. "When you travel, you need lots of pockets for things, and these are my urban travelers -- my tribe."

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Milan, Italy

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Photos: At top, looks from the Missoni men's Spring/Summer 2011 collection, presented on June 18, 2010, the night before Milan Men's Fashion Week began. At bottom left, a jacquard nylon windbreaker in acid green, at right, multicolored blocked suede deck shoes. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times