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Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A thread of nobility and athletic prowess runs through many of the European fashion houses: Marchese Emilio Pucci was a world-class skier, Oleg Cassini was a French Count, and Ottavio Missoni was a world champion runner (Student World Champion, 400 meters, 1939) and the son of a Countess. Missoni got his start in the fashion world by designing (with his friend Giorgio Oberweger) the track suits for the 1948 Italian Olympic team, of which he was a member. He married Rosita Jelmeni, whose family owned a textile mill, in 1953, and later that year they founded the Missoni company together, specializing in knitwear. Their signature design is a zigzag pattern in boldly contrasting colors, but even the non-zigzag items have colorful designs and rich textures. Missoni is headquartered in Sumirago, Italy, and has a staff of 200, so obviously their success has been great and lasting, and they even have clothing items in several museum collections around the world. (For more about Missoni, there is an excellent article here, with extensive commentary from Mr. Missoni.) This Missoni necktie has a design that looks like pixelated roses, and like last week's Perry Ellis tie is just three inches wide and probably of 1980s vintage. At 60 inches long it's longer than most ties; I had to tie it in a Full Windsor knot to keep it from hanging down too far. The extra wraparounds and the thick lining make the knot pretty big, which looks kind of funny with a narrow tie, but so be it.

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