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You've probably seen the 400-piece look book.  You've probably by now gone on to the website and seen it crashing, reviving and then crashing again.  Or you might be non-American like me and not give a crap about Target collaborations.  I've only vaguely inched closer to caring in the past year or so as I tend to travel to New York at the exact time when they launch a new Target x ??? collaboration with increasing fanfare.  This time round, there was a giant behemoth of a pop-up store on Sixth Avenue, open for three days, which celebrated the launch of its collaboration with Missoni.  There was a scary 15 ft puppet type thing trussed up in Missoni knit that was outside The Standard hotel.  I thought it was going to reach over with its arm to wack me in the face, so I schlepped out of the way sharpish.   

Not sure what info the powers that be have on me but it probably didn't twig that I do in fact live in London and therefore Target doesn't actually ship to my location or to a lot of readers here.  Still, a box of samples arrived promptly and before I left for New York, I had a go at investigating some of the pieces to see what all the fuss is about. 

If I'm honest, there's zero shock factor when it comes to seeing what designer will pair up with a low-brand maybe save for Alaia or Nicholas Ghesquiere.  With the right price, any brand could possibly waver.  I feel like H&M's collaborations in particular have set the 'Who can nab the biggest collaborator?" contest going with chains attempting to surpass each other and themselves.  Missoni and Target on paper two years ago would have been eye-brow raising and for some, that may still be the case but but it seems like the brand have no fear of going enthusiastically full guns ahead by producing product for every vertical possible – womenswear, kidswear, accessories, homeware. 

For a family business so rooted in their Italian close-knit way of working (no pun intended‚Ķ) and in upholding craftsmanship, their 'Go big or go home' approach might seem discordant.  Then again, Missoni's distinctive aesthetic has also been aped to death for years on the high street to the point where I sometimes see pieces and think why doesn't Missoni apply for a patent on their knitwear patterns just because they are so instantly recognisable, even if they are not 100% originators of their techniques.  It seems only fair then that they claim a share of that pie, giving the opportunity for people to buy into the real Missoni look without committing to Missoni prices prices and without having to resort to Missoni-lite knock-offs either. 

The vast lookbook may show head to toe Missoni for Target pieces worn in abundance with zig zags, swirls and plethora of colours swarming the body, so recognisable as Missoni that from afar, even hardened Missoni fans might mistake a piece for the real deal.  Of course, come up close and the quality is never gonna even touch that level, which is surely a given in the back of most people's minds when buying the stuff.  The collab's success which is reflected on a ton of sold-out items on the website, lies in the very fact that Missoni's knitwear aesthetic is so iconic and recognisable that buying the 'look' of it is enough of a coup. 

For me, whilst the actual knit itself is never going to be as weighty or as imbued with the sort of craftsmanship that the real thing is (a full price Missoni sweater is a real joy to wear‚Ķ), a touch of the surface aesthetic of the prints/patterns here and there, is most definitely the way to go especially with a lot of the knits being thin enough to layer under and over things. 

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Missoni for Target sleeveless dress, vintage Moschino jacket, Uniqlo stripy top, vintage Robert Clegerie shoes – for UNIQLooks

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Missoni for Target v-neck cardigan, Uniqlo lilac shirt, J.W. Anderson skirt, Stella McCartney heels – for UNIQlooks

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Missoni for Target v-neck cardigan, Peter Jensen lurex cardigan, Topshop lame trousers, Tommy Hilfiger x G.H. Bass loafers

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Missoni for Target strappy sweater dress, vintage sheer dress underneath, Carven jacket, Mooonspoon Saloon Buffalo platforms

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Missoni for Target maxi dress, Acne jumper, Mundi cardigan tied up as a skirt, Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, Jaeger bag

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(Worn with Nike macaroon trainers)

Comments (27)

  1. highfalutin3 says:

    totally aware that missoni @ target is def not the real deal howevr4 those who cant even come close to affording the real deal i think its a welcome 4 us 2 b able to purchase a missoni ala target. its nice 2 feel included in yalls world

  2. PvdH says:

    First of all cudos because yes, I hear about Target collaborations endlessly and to be frank I have not cared since the Isaac Mizrahi collaboration (and I lived in the US… so proves your point). And how dreamy would it be indeed to have Alaia or Nicholas Ghesquiere do a collaboration with a high-street brand- but then again, what are the odds of that? (The odds are probably higher that I win the lottery this Friday and can purchase their collections in their entirety!).
    With Missoni itself I have a love and hate affair- but appreciate their move to do this collaboration with Target. And as for the pieces you snatched up?! I am a fan of the cardigan. Looks absolutely great (but it also has to do with how you styled it!).
    A great post Susie.
    PvdH
    http://www.ThePvdHJournal.com

  3. Robin says:

    I am American and I could also give a crap less about the Target collaborations. I’m not really one for labels and gimmicks of sorts. HOWEVER, I might change my mind and go check it out after seeing your first two outfits. I love the first “skirt” (dress) and the second sweater. Hmmmmm . . . . Maybe I’m more trendy than I thought!

  4. A Ghesquiere collaboration would indeed be something to write home about! That said, I did visit Target yesterday. Nothing left. Not unless you were a baby or had size 11 feet (even then, there were only 2 pairs left). I was able to nab the one remaining children’s size L vest and cardigan (same print as your dress). The advantage of being petite is that children’s sizes can give just the right shrunken fit sometimes! ;-) The knit is not so substantial, as you pointed out, but it is good for layering and gives that recognizable Missoni aesthetic. Sort of like Charlie Brown’s trademark zigzag t-shirt.
    Love your styling.
    http://thefoolishaesthete.blogspot.com

  5. Joy says:

    This is a great review which summed up really how I felt about all these designer collabs. They should really just go all out and get the most avant-garde designer. If only Lee was still here, a collection between him and H&M or something would have been EPIC!

  6. Cristina says:

    I must admit I wasn’t too shocked at how the masses turned out for the Missoni release, but then again something most non-U.S. don’t realize is just how cheap people in this country really are. We are also brand obsessed. If there is one thing Americans will never understand it’s that paying for one good quality item is always better than buying a handful of cheaper items made by people in not so great working conditions. “More for less?! Hell yes!” I understand wanting to take part in an iconic trend, but the way to do so is not through mass produced clothing. Make it yourself or represent it through vintage and second hand, one of a kind items. It’s nice for people to enjoy the prints, because they are amazing, but I wouldn’t call it fashion or compare it to “real” Missoni. I mean, I’m not 100 percent positive, but I’m pretty sure the Target line wasn’t made in Italy.
    With that said, I do like the prints of the Missoni for Target collection, but even via big time advertising in major magazines, you can tell the quality doesn’t touch the real deal. I think it looks great on you because of the way you styled it and I hope that people will take a cue from this. It’s not about the name, it’s about how you present your personal style.
    http://mostlyclothes-cristina.blogspot.com/
    p.s. I don’t own anything Missoni so it’s not like I think I’m too good for the affordable stuff! I’m broke too!

  7. SACRAMENTO says:

    I love so much what you do with clothes.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx

  8. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this line. My next trip to Target, those socks and a cardigan for sure!

  9. Kb says:

    It seems like these sorts of collections are the norm now and although welcome (hello Comnme des Garcons for H&M top bought from another blogger) it does dilute the mystique somewhat. Seems surreal to be buying Missoni along with conflakes et al. Despite this, I love how you styled each piece so effortlessly. I definitely want to own the real thing someday, being the knitwear enthusiast I am.

  10. Sarah Bunke says:

    i don’t particularly like Missoni, but you made me desperately want all the pieces you used. i absolutely adore the second to last look with the Buffalo shoes and sheer skirt, perfect.

  11. Kena says:

    Love the MISSONI Maxi Dress. I’m giving away a FREE MISSION for Target *THROW*. Please visit my blog for all the details.http://www.thefashioncamp.com/2011/09/missoni-for-target-throw-giveaway.html

  12. Olive says:

    The last ensemble looks cool!

  13. schlepp says:

    McQ did a line with target 2 years back

  14. Being a knitwear snob – ahem, enthusiast – I can’t help thinking it probably looks good until you get up close. And I doubt it will survive a spin in the washing machine.

  15. Dan says:

    The bits the sent you do look cute, but I agree with the sentiments that it’s just not the same quality. I was only really interested in the homeware from this collection and found a great (but expensive) site that will ship an order from the Target store over to the UK for me, so I ordered one of the throws. I’m hoping it’ll be amazing, it’ll have cost me a lot in shipping by the end of it!
    http://www.i-know-something-you-dont-know.com

  16. Daisy says:

    OMG those platform trainers are the best things I have seen in my life

  17. Aly says:

    Flawless as always, Susie! You styled everything perfectly. :]

  18. softgrey says:

    the socks are so fun!…esp with the juicy nikes..

  19. Dayzee says:

    Please don’t use that email. I put it up by mistake and if someone could take that comment down please do.

  20. melish says:

    amazing! I am loving the macaroonnn…

  21. Melissa says:

    what size cardigans are you wearing?

  22. susie_bubble says:

    All smalls or extra smalls…

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