The fall and winter 2020 collection fashion-show circuit kicked off in an unexpected place on Tuesday afternoon — the landmark L.A. eatery Pink’s Hot Dogs — when a colorful double-decker tourist bus pulled into the parking lot where invited guests noshed on hot dogs and fries served up in zigzag-festooned containers.
After the bus doors opened, a tribe of laid-back hippie types clad in the fall and winter 2020 M Missoni collection clambered off, twirling, dancing and living their best lives in a riot of color, patchwork patterns, slouchy knits, sparkly Lurex, wide-legged pants and crop tops.
In a postshow interview, creative director Margherita Maccapani Missoni said that tourist bus and Pink’s Hot Dogs represented for her “the B side of Hollywood — not necessarily the cool side,” quickly explaining that she sees the M Missoni sub-brand in much the same way — as the lesser-known, less-explored B side of the fashion house that bears her family’s name. (Her grandparents, Ottavio and Rosita, founded the Missoni label known for its zigzag-patterned knitwear in 1953, and her mother, Angela, is the longtime creative director of the mainline brand. Margherita took the reins at M Missoni last year.)
That mindset — being free from the yoke of cool — seems to have given the younger Missoni room to enthusiastically experiment not only with what she wants the line to be but also how it comes to be.
At a time when sustainability has become a focal point for fashion brands, Margherita explained that the colorful striped knits in the instant collection incorporate upcycled yarn (some 1,228 kilograms or approximately 2,700 pounds) with reclaimed knit linings accounting for 25,000 meters (or approximately 82,020 feet) of fabric.
Other pieces in the collection use cast-off scraps or surplus fabric from Missoni factories and suppliers. Deadstock Lycra from a swimwear supplier, for example, lives again in body-hugging tops, deadstock mohair makes its way into crop-top mini cardigans, and colorful pieces of satin (inserts from mainline Missoni petticoats) are patchworked into eye-catching, colorblocked dresses and shirtdresses.
Many of the items that weren’t upcycled or recycled still involved eco-responsible elements: Animal-free sustainable puffers (our favorite was a snuggly yellow diamond-quilted cocoon of a coat) were developed with a company called Save the Duck, and Peruvian artisans were tapped to make alpaca knit sweaters and accessories. (According to the show notes, efforts were made to lessen the environmental impact of the actual event too, with the brand and its partners offsetting emissions through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Fabric wasn’t the only thing that got the blender treatment. The distinction between menswear and womenswear was just as jumbled and blurred. Menfolk disembarked the bus in clingy, wide-legged Lurex trousers, thigh-grazing striped knit dresses and cardigan-meets-bathrobe sweater coats in addition to more traditional men’s silhouettes, while women hit the makeshift runway in relaxed silk suiting, drop-crotch trousers and high-waisted striped pants.
M Missoni is the latest in a long line of European fashion brands that have staged one-off fashion events in Southern California. Last summer, Saint Laurent brought a taste of Marrakesh to Malibu, a few days before Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott brought that label to Universal Studios’ backlot. In January 2018, it was Stella McCartney’s turn, with the London-based designer opting for SIR Studios in Hollywood as the venue for her women’s autumn 2018 presentation.
And, the May before that, it was Dior decamping to Calabasas to present Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first cruise collection. (In related news, Gucci announced Tuesday that its cruise 2021 collection would be presented in San Francisco this May. Past venues have included the Dia Art Foundation in New York and the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London.)
L.A.'s preemptive micro fashion week continues Friday afternoon — the start of Oscar weekend — when Baja East (the brand behind Billy Porter’s memorable 2020 Grammys look) is set to present its latest offerings at the Edition Hotel in West Hollywood.
That night, Tom Ford, who last showed in L.A. in 2015, will present his fall and winter 2020 runway show in Hollywood in front of what’s expected to be an unusually starry front row given the proximity to Sunday’s Academy Awards. After that, the focus turns to the opposite coast where New York Fashion Week’s six-day slate of shows will already be under way.