Trieste and Missoni

A tradition that starts from here…

I always like to talk about my city, especially to people who read my blog from far away places and don’t know the mysteries and stories of this enchanted place.

Today I’ll tell you about it through a photo session I did in PortoPiccolo, dedicated to Missoni’s swimwear, a small homage to the stylist that started his long and dazzling career here in Trieste, when he opened his knitwear workshop with his friend and colleague Giorgio Oberwerger.

Beside the photographs there’s a wonderful interview (found on the website of the Provincia of Trieste ) where they tell us what an incredible person our Ottavio Missoni was. We people from Trieste have always loved him and we are very proud for everything he managed to create. What better voice than his to accompany these images.

 

 

Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography
Bianca Jurcich Photography

 

OTTAVIO MISSONI, From Zara to Trieste: the story behind the brand

A long, rich and full life. How is Missoni? (He answers speaking in dialect: “quite well, even if my voice is tired today, it’s not the right day to sing”. The story of Missoni, before Missoni existed, is incredible, one you never get tired of listening to: “My father mas a sailor, a ship captain. We lived in Ragusa, but when my older brother finished elementary school we moved to Zara where they had the Italian middle school: I wasn’t even six years old then.” Ottavio Missoni, called Tai, is almost in his nineties and he happily tells us about the road that brought him from the sun of Dalmatia (now Croatia) to the haze of Varese, from a youth as a promising athlete to an old age as a patriarch of Italian fashion. Today, Missoni spa is a group that proudly looks back on its company’s history that started its first creations in 1953, followed by the legendary fashion show in ’67 that created a scandal for it’s excesses of transparency, and the company then grew during the seventies, and was launched with the creative and commercial expansion of the last seasons. Ottavio is an athlete, artist, stylist: his life would be history even without the Company’s story.

What kind of city was Zara in the thirties?

“Beautiful, peaceful, almost festive. In Zara I spent my last Christmas in ’41 before leaving for the army: a kiss for mum and I left. I would see her again only 4 years later in Trieste.”

In between a war and the exodus of Italians from Dalmatia.

“You should not take part in wars, and if you do you shouldn’t loose them. Italy was stupid twice, but what did we have to do with it? The truth is that people from Istria and Dalmatia suffered for everyone.”

Before the Exile you had already suffered imprisonment after the battle of El Alamein.

“Oh El Alamein…on one side there was me, on the other the whole English Empire, how else could it end. I didn’t fight, i didn’t shoot, I was there to repair the telephone lines. At a certain point I heard a “come on” and saw a Kiwi that signalled me to move it: I surrendered and became a prisoner. Of course it wasn’t Club Mediterranèe but I like to say I spent 4 years as a guest of Her Majesty. Four years of reading and sleeping: the passions of my life”

And how was your arrival in Trieste?

“When I came home from prison my parents had already moved. For us Trieste was like Zara, just bigger. There’s a reason why people from Dalmatia and from Trieste are so similar: When Maria Teresa made it a free port and the city became alive with trade, the violin players came from Graz and Saltsburg, but people of the sea all come from my area. And they bring with them our dialect from Veneto that people still talk today.”

A good life you could say

“Oh yes, I always got along with “Triestini”. A good personality, lots of life and never in the mood to work. Just like me”.

And so you stayed in Trieste

“Yes, to work on the first knitwear with Giorgio Oberwerger. The two of us were presidents and his cousin Livio Fabiani did the work. A fantastic idea that I used also many years later with my wife: I was president and Rosita worked”.

How did the famous Missoni fabric start out?

“My secret is that I never went to any art or fashion school. Playing around with colours, patterns appeared that didn’t exist back then: it’s always like that, if you follow the rules you can make nice things but never emergent. We never cared about the current fashions and were successful with a product that nobody had seen yet.”

How much of Dalmatia is in your colors?

“It’s really difficult to measure inspiration…Probably if I had been born in Sweden I wouldn’t have made the same things, but after all you find color everywhere: Once I complimented the designer Marco Zanuso for his nice pen .He complained that it had been 20 years that everyone was copying it. What should I say, people on the Andes have been copying me for 2000 years! But I was wrong: Rosita went on a trip to Egypt, visited some tombs and museums and said that in that area they had been copying us for 3000 years!”

Your career is built on colors

“Certainly, but think how much music you can make with just seven notes. There’s nothing strange in someone being original for years by using the same colors.”

Interview Raffaele Oriani

(The full interview is available on th website of Provincia di Trieste http://www.provincia.trieste.it/opencms/export/sites/provincia-trieste/it/news/allegati/missoni.pdf)

Raffaele Cavicchi
Raffaele Cavicchi Photography
Raffaele Cavicchi
Raffaele Cavicchi Photography
Raffaele Cavicchi
Raffaele Cavicchi Photography
Raffaele Cavicchi
Raffaele Cavicchi Photography
Raffaele Cavicchi
Raffaele Cavicchi Photography

Location –  Portopiccolo Sistiana

Costumi e copricostumi – Missoni

Gioielli – Artrè  Bottega OrafaVia del Teatro 1/b Trieste

Photo – Raffaele Cavicchi GoodFellas Italian Mobile Photographers and Bianca Jurcich Photography

Modella – Isabell Giardini by Be Nice Agency and Carlotta Degano

Trucco – Federica Niero

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