“Mondays like Sundays, like Tuesdays, like Wednesdays….” Margherita Maccapani Missoni quipped in a recent Instagram post depicting a photo of her family’s vibrant lunchtime mise en place. It summed up the way of the world we currently live in, where days seamlessly blend together and the line between the work-week and weekend remains blurred.
Yet despite this standstill, Missoni, along with her two children and husband, Eugenio Amos, are still determined to bring the legendary Italian family’s signature beauty—one exploding with colors and patterns and humor—to the fore. “It’s surreal,” she says over the phone on a warm day in Varese, one hour northwest of Milan. “You don’t really know what’s happening outside. I think it’s been about five weeks, but I actually don’t know anymore. I am enjoying this pace of life, but I feel very anxious about the world we live in. I’m worried for Italy, and for the whole world.” In an effort to contribute to the COVID-19 relief efforts, and channel this energy, Missoni delved into her own closet to resell some of her favorite items, with 100% of proceeds benefiting Italy’s Lombardia region, one of the country’s most affected areas.
Last February, before Italy began its government-mandated quarantine on March 9th, Missoni was tasked with selecting a group of nine artworks from Sotheby’s “Contemporary Curated” sale with the help of the auction house’s team of specialists. “Sotheby’s asked me, ‘Are you happy to do this?’, and I said, ‘Why not?’” she recalls. “I love auctions of all sorts. They’re a part of my treasure hunting hobby.”
Among her edits for the sale are a neon work of the words “Fucking Beautiful,” shaped into a heart by artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, a rendering of a surrealist bust by Nicolas Party, and “Star,” a dotted pattern created in 1993 by Yayoi Kusama that resembles a group of organisms under a microscope. “I doubt [Kusama] had any reference in the micro-organism world, but this was different when I saw it again recently,” Missoni mused of the work, noticing its similarity to the “viral” image of Coronavirus we have seen everywhere. “I thought about how something can be very relevant to a specific time, although it was created in a completely different moment.”
Missoni is also learning, like many of us, to find moments of beauty in the everyday while upholding a punctual schedule of home schooling, bath times, and bedtimes. There are the foraging explorations in the woods around their home, where they often find flowers for table decoration and edible greens to create a side salad for dinner. “I remember what you are allowed to pick from when I was a kid,” Missoni says. On the weekend, “nights out” on the terrace call for a bejeweled mini dress and a party-ready soundtrack.
And naturally, there’s plenty of designing too. For Missoni it begins in her home office, where research and design for the company’s M Missoni collection takes place, and often ends at the kitchen table building crafts with her children. “I love working with what I find rather than buying stuff,” she says. “It’s what I liked to do as a kid, so I have all these treasure boxes filled with a bunch of objects that I bought in some flea markets, and we use them as bases for painting or collaging or add them to a bottle of detergent to make a spaceship.”
With a pedigree of cooking, crafting, decorating, and designing, it seems Margherita, and perhaps the entire extended Missoni family, was well-prepared for a homebound life that many of us are still adjusting to. Her advice? “You cannot fight it,” she told us frankly. “Everyone has things they have been wanting to do [with extra time], so take advantage of that. It’s not necessarily being active, but finding the books or hobbies that you might have left behind, and taking this time to revisit and own them as much as possible.”
Originally Appeared on Vogue