R.I.P. Ottavio Missoni, the father of Italian fashion

May 10, 2013
Missoni with his daughter Angela at a 2011 fashion show in Milan. (Milo Sciaky / EPA)
Missoni with his daughter Angela at a 2011 fashion show in Milan. (Milo Sciaky / EPA)

 

“I like comparing color to music: Only seven notes and yet innumerable melodies have been composed with those seven notes. . . How many tones or shades does each color have? An infinite number, just as always endless are the hues and nuances composing a work of art.”

Ottavio Missoni explaining the philosophy behind the wild, colorful zigzag patterns that were the trademark of his fashion line, which became the look of Italian couture. Missoni, who died Thursday at 92, lived a soap-opera life of success, grandeur and tragedy: A World War II prisoner of war who became an Olympic track star before founding, with wife Rosita, their eponymous fashion house; since January, he has mourned the loss of son Vittorio, the company’s chief exec, whose plane disappeared over the Caribbean. He also had the best advice we’ve ever heard about getting through tedious cocktail parties: “You can handle any conversation with just three words: ‘Really,’ ‘sometimes,’ and ‘maybe,’” he told the L.A. Times. Here is a nice obituary from the Associated Press: Ottavio Missoni, patriarch of Italian fashion-label dynasty, dies at 92

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Amy Argetsinger · May 10, 2013