Missoni celebrates 'normal life' at virtual Milan Fashion Week

Models present creations from the Missoni Fall/Winter 2021/2022 women's collection during a livestreamed show at Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, in this picture released on February 24, 2021. Missoni/Handout via REUTERS

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian brand Missoni kicked off the first day of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, with designers once again forced to swap the buzzing catwalks for digital presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A year after Italy registered its first positive case of the coronavirus in the north, leading to the first lockdown in Europe, designers have had to find new ways to entice fashionistas with their creations.

Known for its zig-zag "Fiammato", or flamed, pattern and colourful designs, Missoni was the first fashion house to stream a video of its latest womenswear, blending clothes for autumn/winter with those for spring/summer.

Filmed earlier in February at Milan's Assago Forum, a venue that has been shut for months, models re-enacted social gatherings from bowling games to catch-ups with friends.

They wore sparkling knits, loose trouser suits, long ribbed dresses and casual wear in an array of colours.

Some donned hats, scarves and jackets, while others modelled swimwear in the video, which was filmed as if in one continuous shot.

There were crop tops, shorts and glittering party wear as well in what the Italian fashion house described as "a celebration of the return to a normal social life".

"With this project, I wanted to sum up one year of work in the length of a song, creating a content that is emotional but also accessible from different digital devices," creative director Angela Missoni said in a statement.

"I mixed and matched pieces from different seasons to highlight the concept of wardrobe, since Missoni delivers items that are conceived to last, accompanying every woman in her life and becoming part of her memories."

It was during last February's Milan Fashion Week that the town of Codogno, about an hour's drive from Milan, was closed off as the virus took hold in the Lombardy region, which became the worst-hit in Italy.

Then, veteran Giorgio Armani held his show behind closed doors in an empty theatre.

This season's Milan Fashion Week runs until March 1, with brands such as Armani, Prada, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana sharing their collections videos on a digital platform.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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