London, Estorick Collection


As Missoni’s family-run empire continues to rise from strength to strength, London’s Estorick charts the ascent of the iconic Italian fashion house throughout its fifty year history. Founded in the late 1940s, Ottavio Missoni established a workshop producing jersey tracksuits, which were also worn by the Italian Athletic Team of the 1948 London Olympics. While in London, where Ottavio himself qualified for the final of the 400m hurdle race, he met Rosita Jelmini, the granddaughter of a family of womenswear manufacturers from northern Italy.

Following their marriage in 1953, they began producing knitwear in the basement of their Gallarate home before moving to Sumarigo in the 60s, where Missoni remains today. Characterised by the use of zigzags and stripes in an audacious array of colorful shades, Missoni’s bold knit has marked it out as one of the most recognizable marques in fashion.

The exhibition goes beyond Missoni’s celebrated fashions, taking a look behind the scenes, such as the evolution of the fashion house, technical processes and the artistic influence drawn from the family’s collection of modern Italian art and artists such as Sonia Delaunay, is cited as an important source of inspiration for Rosita.

July 1 to September 20, 2009
Canonbury Square
London, N1 2AN
T: +44 (0)20 7704 9522