European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Designers

Object Voices / ZIGZAG

1960scorporate archivefashion exhibitionItalian fashion

The second tale from the Missoni Archive unveils the story of the most iconic code of the brand: the Zigzag

The first zigzag pattern appeared in the Missoni Fall/Winter 1967 collection. As a way to further their research into using graphic patterns on knits, Ottavio and Rosita Missoni decided to use the raschel machine in a unique way to create innovative zigzag fabrics. This machine had typically been used by weaving mills in Lombardy mainly to make shawls with arabesque designs. These cheerful lightning-bolt shaped stripes in various colours and with sharp – or less sharp – corners went on to become another dominant motif of the Missoni style, which has been repeated and renewed over time.

At the end of the 1960s, the zigzag pattern used on clothing was a form of modernism. The pure colours and sharp contrasts very much represented the aesthetic sense of the time. In 1967, the magazine Annabella published an article with the headline Fashion and Art in Venice. It featured two Missoni dresses (seen in the gallery above) photographed in front of a work of art by artist Marcello Morandini on display at the Venice Biennial.