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Missoni Moments Making Magic

The Life of Lamé

How Missoni was the first to free the nipple

Would Missoni have shot to its stratospheric heights of fame so quickly were it not for those lamé blouses strutting down the runway under the bright lights of the Palazzo Pitti in the Spring of 1967? Bra-free and baring it all, Missoni and its models stomped down the runway and into a whole new era. That day they were, however inadvertently, the first fashion house to offer a glimpse of female nudity in one of their shows. The ‘party pyjama’ jumpsuits and clinging dresses on show took on a whole new meaning sans skivvies. Never before had a wardrobe malfunction made such a stir, and the cult of Missoni was born.

The sheer lamé scandalised both the Pitti organisers and members of the press to the point where one American reviewer described them as “wicked”. Ottavio and Rosita Missoni were shaking out the stiffly pressed creases of the stuffy Italian fashion scene and everyone was beginning to pay attention. Disinvited from returning to Pitti the following years because of the scandal, they began showing in Milan, cementing their reputation in the top tier of Italian fashion.

Paired with the doll-like face of the times, Twiggy, one can see the how the clinging, sheer fabric – dotted with a constellation of signature paillettes – solidified Missoni as the designer of the impending 70s. The world was changing and Missoni was quickly becoming the fashion house of the generation. Since that pivotal show, the Missoni lamé has been a mainstay in the collections – its metallic glint and fluid sheer qualities quickly becoming classics.