Now, it may seem like I do a lot of shopping on this blog. This is very true. However, I occasionally search for other things to do with my time, something to provoke thought, rather than leave a hole in my wallet. After reading about the Missoni exhibition at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, I thought that I’d better pay a much needed visit to Islington. I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, overwhelmed by all the knitspiration (I should patent that word) on offer, and it even managed to engage my non-knitting friend (though she didn’t quite understand why I was so ecstatic to see a room full of yarn). I’ve discovered a new found respect for the Missoni label, and I recommend that you go if you’re in London this Summer especially as it’s free to students (even my friend managed to get in with an expired student card)! Cue a heavily edited photo heavy post.
I loved the patchwork jumpers of the mens collection, and it was great to see them close up. The Missoni’s are partial to the ‘Space’ knitting technique, which is how they get an irregular mix of colour in some of their designs. It is said to be unplanned, like nature.
The exhibition really highlights the origins of the design house, and how its had to develop and reinvent itself throughout the years to reach its fabulous Autumn Winter collection. There was a really interesting documentary in one of the rooms, detailing the journey of the Missoni family, with the founders Ottavio and Rosita coming across as passionate and experimental, with a love of the irregular. Their home is definitely a place I’d love to visit, the complete opposite of minimalist, with eclectic inspiration crammed into every nook and cranny. Unfourtunately I couldn’t find any images from the film, but I remember seeing a comical picture of the Missoni family in their crazy knits as well of some of their sketches. There are plenty of similar ones around the gallery.
Here is the aforementioned room full of yarn, very exciting as some were actual Missoni yarns. There’s also a film showing a day in the life of an electronic knitting machine, as well as some drawings and Futurust inspiration.
Here’s me trying to blend in…. Some of the knitted mannequins sit well alongside the existing Futurist artwork. Methinks this pattern would make a great knitted bodysuit. This exhibition has definitely got me thinking and I’m very glad I went and helped my friend to understand more about knitwear (my course takes a lot of explaining). I thoroughly recommend you bring your friends along, and all become as obsessed with knitting as I am.
There’s probably going to be a lot more knitting related posts here, as I’m going to start a placement with Cooperative Designs next week, which I’m really excited about. Slightly worried as I haven’t knitted anything for two months, but the colours and textures of this exhibition has got me all geared up for it, so hopefully it’ll go well and I can learn a great deal. Definitely need to start making lists so I get more stuff done in the free time that I have. I’ll let you know how it all goes…I need some new songs on my iPod for the long commute.
Hope the weather sorts itself out.