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Donizetti’s Scottish shepherds (and Luciano Pavarotti!) get a Missoni makeover

Missoni’s first foray into theater began with a call from Pier Luigi Pizzi in 1983. The esteemed opera director and Missoni knitwear fan was enquiring about costumes for a new work he was directing at Milan’s famed opera and ballet theater La Scala, starring Luciano Pavarotti. “Once I knew it was Scotland, I said ‘OK no problem’,” quipped Ottavio Missoni who led the charge, conceiving and crafting 120 outfits for the show. Set in the high hills of Lammermoor, the Scottish shepherds in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” got a Missoni make over, evolving from stuffy courtiers into bona fide Boho babes. Drawing inspiration from traditional Scottish tartan prints, these hunks on the heath were draped in floor grazing shawls, tailored jackets and country caps cut by Mr. Missoni himself. Chunky utility belts pulled the look together and gave the rugged, roaming pastori an effortlessly elegant appearance on stage. A great success and a new friendship were the result of this entertaining new endeavour illustrating how the house’s signature knits could make their mark beyond the realms of fashion.