Margherita Missoni’s New Line Isn’t Kidding Around, Sophie Hulme’s Playful Elegance, and Where Chloe Handbag Designers Go for Baguette
Fashion Week Journal for Friday, March 6
Margherita Maccapani Missoni isn’t having a typical Paris Fashion Week. When I met with her yesterday at her family apartment in the 7th arrondissement, she had just returned not from a runway show but from an acupuncture appointment; her second child is due in two months, and these last few weeks have been a little difficult. That evening she would attend the Lanvin opening at the Palais Galliera with her grandmother, and later in the week she’ll attend a dinner for her friend, the designer Charlotte Olympia, but these days she’s not really thinking about ready-to-wear. She’s thinking about kidswear, and her brand-new, exclusive-to-Nordstrom line Margherita.
Like a lot of women, Maccapani Missoni started buying baby and kids’ clothes before she had need for them. She couldn’t resist their charms. But when her first son Otto came along about two years ago, she realized that the things she thought she loved weren’t really built for a child to live in. And as the actress, brand ambassador and creative director began to really think about what she wanted the rest of her life to be about, she knew that she wanted the flexibility and malleability of a small company. Her own small company.
Business runs strong in her family, of course, and so her first move was to secure an LA-based partner with deep experience in the intricacies of designing, engineering and marketing children’s clothing. And then she simply started dreaming—or rather, remembering.
Margherita kids’ line image by Tierney Gearon
Maccapani Missoni grew up in a big family—a family of friends—but Otto is the first grandchild and so far has no direct cousins. And anyway, she didn’t really need to look around for mini muses; she drew on her own childhood.
“For instance, I always had this thing for aprons when I was a little girl, so we have two apron dresses,” she told me. “They have all of their lives to wear adult clothes. These are children’s clothes for children.”
She says, in fact, that Margherita the line has no real connection with Margherita the woman. Not, that is, in terms of personal style. She doesn’t choose fabrics she’d want to wear; she chooses sweet classics—seersuckers, checks, polka dots—and mixes them with ethnic patterns inspired by her travels. A daisy motif is the brand’s signature, and the premiere collection features a batik-like print.
They’re the kinds of pieces you can imagine a city kid wearing in the country—or a country kid wearing to the city. And the more I chat with Maccapani Missoni about her life north of Milan, in the Lake region, the more it seems like a good metaphor.
Margherita kids’ line image by Tierney Gearon
She has meetings and takes calls in the morning while Otto is at a small play school that has animals and a vegetable farm, and in the afternoons and weekends there is always a grandmother or a great-grandmother around.
“I love our small, country area. We have a simple life,” she tells me, and while it’s difficult to imagine her separating completely from the fashion brand that’s so linked to her name, it’s clear she loves this new sweet and youthful world she’s created for herself and her children.
And for you and yours.
You know who else is very playful? Sophie Hulme. The London-based handbag designer and I traded a few emails about her fall ’15 collection, and then I went to her Parisian showroom to take a look for myself.
“Our AW15 collection comes in autumnal shades of cherry red, oxblood, burnt orange, petrol and charcoal and was largely inspired by traditional saddlework,” Hulme told me. “We also wanted to have a lot of fun with the leathers. The print that features was inspired by the Wiener Werkstatte movement, where we drew on themes of color and print.”
“We also introduced new charms; our keyrings feature playful tassels and we wanted them to have lots of personality! We also drew inspiration from palaspas (the art of palm-leaf weaving), and one of my favorite things from this season is our new bag charm chain, made from leather and wood. The charm chain took inspiration from my own charm bracelet and I love being able to represent a classic in a such new and modern way.”
Turns out Hulme is quite a collector, and not just of charms. The gals at her showroom told me that her London flat/studio is inside a converted toy factory, and that inside are all manner of rescued relics of childhood past. I love that you can see that spirit in her work—especially because it’s layered over such exquisite materials and craftsmanship.
Above, that leather-and-wood chain Hulme mentioned, and the signature plate details which are, of course, front and center in the current spring collection as well.
“I recently saw one of our small bucket bags styled with pinstripe trousers and tennis shoes and it looked great! I love seeing my bags styled in new ways and seeing people interpret the collection and wear it in their own way,” Hulme also noted.
A showroom gal models two of the most popular styles of fall ’15.
Shop: Sophie Hulme
Finally, perhaps you’ve noticed that we tend to always ask our interview subjects for insider action on how to live well in their part of the world. From the AGL sisters’ Italy to everyone in our Follow Up Instagram series (which lives mostly on our Men’s Shop Daily blog), we’re just always looking for a hot tip.
So back when we talked to Paris-based Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller about the launch of the Everston bag and she noted that Du Pain et Des Idées was the spot for baked goods, we were listening, and took action on it. Thanks, Clare, for an amazing morning treat!