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Milan Fashion Week: Missoni mines the Olympic moment, unveils second Converse collaboration

June 20, 2011 | 10:37 am

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Missoni’s runway collection was the second one this week to reference the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London (the first was Vivienne Westwood Man), paying homage to founder and patriarch Ottavio Missoni, who not only competed in the 1948 London Olympics but also designed and made the peacock blue jersey tracksuits that served as the official uniform for the Italian team. (That also happens to be where he met his future wife, Rosita.)

That blue tracksuit was the starting point for an informal and laid-back spring and summer menswear collection -- suits with unstructured two-button jackets instead of the zip-front of the original, and adding variation to the solid blue with a variety of yarns and texture (texture variation has been a key element in many of the collections sent down the runway this week). In addition to the navy blue hues of the suit, the predominant colors were mineral brown and khaki -- some of the earthy tones that have been unusually strong in the Milan collections this season, despite the usual emphasis on more vivid shades of color –- as well as Missoni’s signature shade of burnt orange.

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The emphasis this season was clearly on the knit pieces, which may seem a little out of place for spring and summer wares but fits nicely with the overall theme that’s emerged of favoring handcrafted, artisanal production (or at least pieces that evoke that feeling) over slick mass-production. That makes Missoni’s second collaboration with Converse (the first was a zigzagged version of the Chuck Taylor All Star high-top), intended to honor the legacy of Ottavio Missoni’s contribution to the London Olympics, all the more appropriate. It’s a nubbly, speckled, knit-covered version of the Converse Auckland Racer running shoe.

-- Adam Tschorn in Milan

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Photos: Looks from the Missoni spring/summer 2012 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Giuseppe Cacace / AFP/Getty Images

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