by Stephen Garner

Missoni found inspiration from the iconic style of French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg for its men’s spring/summer 2020 collection presented in Milan over the weekend.

Informally formal, spontaneous and unconventional, Gainsbourg’s sartorial attire unveiled a personal realm of artistic freedom and travel that came to represent the quintessence of French nonchalance. His chic and effortless manner expressed an alternative cool with hints of exotic bohemianism, and inspired this season’s collection of relaxed, softly tailored garments that epitomize Missoni’s take on contemporary sport-lux.

Bright turquoise, jungle green and chalky blues are interspersed with pops of sunflower yellow, which recall the enchanting brilliance of the Mediterranean and golden sands of the Côte d’Azur. Rich bordeaux, light tobacco, vivid geranium and dusky pinks, with inflections of bright Prussian blue, culminate in an impressionistic vision of Parisian skies as the sun gradually sets over the vibrant cityscape. All the while, vivid graphic prints from the Missoni Archive and Breton stripes contrast and coexist with the softness of the abstract floral motifs of hand-painted watercolors.

This collection offers an array of versatile pieces in loosely structured silhouettes. Half-lined double-breasted blazers in lightweight summer wool and loom-knit fabrics feature pinstripes or Prince of Wales checks. Unstructured French pea-coats are designed using an exclusive cotton twill fabric flecked with space-dyed yarns and over-dyed in powdery hues. This same peacoat is also presented in a loom-knit fabric with a Missoni-fied macro Vichy check pattern. Belted trench coats come in lightweight ikat loom-knit fabrics or printed cotton canvas infused with a special aloe vera finish lending softness to the garment. The collection is rounded off by a refined selection of lightweight knitted crewnecks, boat-necks, shawl-collar cardigans and polos in floral and ethnic-inspired jacquards, argyle-patterned intarsias, dégradés, and iconic Missoni over-dyed patchworks.