Saturday, 20 February 2010

Close - knit frock

As a fashion conscious teenager with a penchant for 'haute couture' (but seriously lacking the funds to feed my desires), much of my leisure time was spent scouring my mother‘s bedroom closet looking for my next fix. Each time I entered the Narnia - like world that lay beyond, I knew I’d return with either a magnificent Oscar De La Renta gown, a beautifully tailored Liberty print skirt or maybe a colourful piece by local designer, Rae Ganim.Sometimes my teenage sleepover compradres inadvertently became accomplices in these sartorial clandestine adventures – I had not yet 'discovered' boys; in any event their pimply, gangly frames were no match for the sleek lines, silky textures and colourful fabrics that filled not one but two wardrobes in our family home ( the spare bedroom closet was enlisted to accommodate any overflow of items).*
One frock in particular rests fondly in my memory – A chic and sophisticated V necked knitted Missoni piece with geometric designs that somehow all matched up perfectly; it even had a matching belt. I admired the colour, texture and neatness of the gown but never once questioned its heritage.

On learning recently that the Missoni family had publicly opened their home in Sumirago for the first time in three generations, as part of their S/S 10 launch, I was intrigued and wanted to vicariously enter their dreamlike designer environs. Flicking through the pages in ‘Pop’ magazine, it was comforting to see that the Missonis appeared like any other close-knit family (albeit a famous and wealthy one) enjoying each other's company in a relaxed and unassuming manner. Even after peering more closely at the pages I was convinced that their smiles and warmth were genuine. I closed the magazine satisfied that a well loved and remembered frock was born out of love, depth, beauty and family.

*Foot note: Several years later,upon my mother’s tastes changing rather dramatically, the spare bedroom closet resumed its original purpose. Her collection of salubrious gowns were gallantly bestowed upon well deserved friends, family and opportunity shops.Instead, she developed a die hard system (with her comrade Daph), of turning doilies into ponchos, table cloths in to dresses and pillowcases in to handbags that we all wanted to get our hands on!

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