August 1, 2009

Work in progress

This is the painting I'm working on now. It is the sixth in the Runway series. (Click on the picture for a blowup.) I'll show you the finished version when it's done.

The dress is by Missoni, the Italian design house and was part of its 2009 fall collection. The burning army vehiclewas taken from a Vietnam War photo.

Missoni was started in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni, the son of an Italian sea captain and a Serbian countess, and his wife Rosita.

They met in London. He was a hurdler in the 1948 Olympics there. Rosita, who had worked in her family's embroidery company, was in London studying English.

"He was gorgeous and I dreamed of meeting him!" she would say years later.

Their company didn't become a real success until they were invited to show a collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1967. There the Missonis gained attention more for what the models didn't wear than for what they did.

According to, Rosita told her models to remove their bras because they ruined the line of the black jersey dresses they were wearing.

"Under the bright catwalk lights, the material became transparent, and the shocking sight of the see-through dresses became headline news around the world," the website said.

Now their three children run the highly diversified operation.

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