Missoni Knits & Necklaces: A Study of Contrasts & Neck Lengths

Following up on a comment to my March 24 blog post on Alpha Necklaces, I agree that it is well worth taking a look at the new jewelry designs by Missoni created to accompany the design house’s knitwear for fall/winter 2010/11.
The jewelry can be seen on the models in videos on the design house web site missoni.com. A collage of photographs of jewelry designs from the collection, along with commentary, can be found in the March 23 posting of Susie Bubble, a U.K. fashionista and prolific blogger, in her delightful style blog at stylebubble.typepad.com. Her collage is the source of the photos here.

Bubble, in turn, references an illuminating interview with accessories designer Margherita Maccapani Missoni by Anna Battista for DazedDigital.com. In that interview, Missoni discusses the design considerations that went into the development of jewelry to accessorize the knitwear collection. She explains:

“We wanted something modern, smooth, chromed, shiny and a little bit futuristic for the jewels, . . . since the basic idea was trying to create a contrast with the raw and rough materials incorporated in the [knitwear] designs. The collection includes quite a few rather heavy materials and natural colours and to avoid that such designs could become a little bit too ethnic or folkish and that the African and Scottish inspirations became too literal, we opted for metal jewellery. . . . The accessories were also designed to create further contrasts with the double zippers integrated in the clothes that draw graphic glossy lines across the garments.”

The necklaces and bracelets do indeed draw glossy lines across the garments around the neck and over the sleeves. The jewelry stands out from the soft texture of the garments, and draws attention to the areas in which it is placed. I like the bright layers of color, too, which mimic the alternating bands of color that are a Missoni knit trademark.

The close-up photographs are educational in demonstrating the wide range in the length of necks on the women modeling the clothing (take note of the extreme variations in neck length, even among uniformly tall, long-limbed fashion models), and how neck length affects the fit and the look of a particular style. Compare the three neck lengths in the photos below.

missoni-medium-neck-0310.jpg    missoni-short-neck-0310.jpg   missoni-long-neck-0310.jpg

The knitwear neck style is wonderful for any woman who isn’t especially enamored of her neck for any reason, and the style also can effectively hide jowls. Placing a necklace over the knitwear on the neck further distracts from any perceived imperfections of the neck. The end result is that the style works on any neck length. Notice that the style of the knitwear does not easily permit earrings, except perhaps stud earrings or small designs that sit on the earlobes.

The style of cuff bracelets worn over the sleeves of the sweater is a continuation of a trend that I discussed on February 8 in my posting Wrist Watch: When Sleeves Collide with Jewelry. This is a style that can be worn by anyone.

missoni-bracelets-0310.jpg

Bubble identifies another reason to endorse wearing jewelry over knitwear: the knitted collars and thick sweaters act as a barrier between skin and metal, a boon for someone with metal allergies.

Most people are visual, and seeing how something might look on them is extremely helpful in assessing whether to consider buying the item. What is especially noteworthy about the Missoni styling is that it demonstrates that such cozy-looking knitwear and the jewelry that highlights it can be worn on any arm and on any length neck.