Fashion’s latest must-have: a hotel
Edinburgh is spread out beneath us like a discarded ball dress. Rosita Missoni, the 78-year-old matriarch of one of Italy’s most famous fashion families, holds her ringed hands up in the air 0 celine bag 17727 3abe 070c-13 and sighs with pleasure. We are standing by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the penthouse $950 new celine us 11 eu 41 black leather platform wedges ankle sandals shoes bx suite of the Missoni Hotel on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, which last weekend became the latest addition to the growing ranks of hotels owned $140 aetrex essence shoes celine mary jane pump black leather strap 8 by fashion houses.
Already Versace has a place in Australia, Christian Lacroix has one in France and Ralph Lauren has recently opened a hotel in Jamaica. But Missoni is planning to go one better – by turning its hotel into a chain that will be 30-strong within a decade. Kuwait City will be the next Missoni location, complete with a desert garden full of the cacti which inspired Rosita Missoni’s latest fuchsia-coloured fabric prints. “I have never been mundane,” she explains.
Missoni’s designs were first championed by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland in the late 1960s, but although the label is 50 years old, it seems more desirable than ever. Kate Moss and Drew Barrymore have headed more recent Missoni campaigns, photographed in sheer little dresses and vivid knits and this summer the Missoni family is being celebrated with an exhibition at London’s Estorick Collection.
Missoni herself (who passed on the responsibilities of the fashion side to her daughter in the late-1990s in order to take over the label’s home furnishing line) is short and delightful bags that look like celine luggage tote, draped with beads and classic Missoni prints – candy-ish colours in tight squiggles and zigzags. Behind her, a bright lilac wall projects a gentle glow on the light wood floors. There is a sweet Missoni lavender shower gel-scented breeze, and all is serene – but for the sight, on the hot street below, of a drunk and sunburned Rangers fan spitting regurgitated Red Bull into the gutter. When building your first glamorous new Italian fashion hotel, I ask Missoni carefully, why $1900 celine drape front cap sleeve wrap crepe tunic choose, umm, Scotland? She gives me a look, and pauses.
“I admit that in the rain, Scotland can seem cold and dark $700 celine multicolour canvas slip on trainers sneakers and terrible, but in the sun you see its true beauty. I first came here 30 years ago for the festival, and went walking, out through the highlands, and I remember the heather and land – the colours were magnificent. Edinburgh is severe but very stylish $1150 new authentic celine trio leather beige shoulder crossbody bag italy and I tried to reflect that in the designs.”
She talks at length about pushing for the Mackintosh chairs, the low seating and lack of carpets. She talks about covering surfaces in Missoni & celine prints, and the pain of producing fireproof fabrics. “But it was worth it,” she says. “I find such pleasure in playing with patterns. It’s a game I’ve played all my life. The walls of colour in the hotel give the same kind of excitement as the views out onto $675 celine black tall leather boots w the city. I like to feel at home in a hotel, so I am excited and pleased with the feel of this one. It’s comfortable, and not pretentious – we have tried to add a certain flair, without going over the top.”
There is potential, in a fashion hotel, for disaster on a couture scale. For shower space to be sacrificed for a gold toilet-roll plinth, or the restaurant forgotten about for the sake of a big show-off sofa and velvet VIP bar. But here the restaurant is in the hands of Giorgio Locatelli. The 136 rooms, with their silver leather beds, complimentary minibars and Bang & Olufsen tellies, aren’t over-designed; the graphic Missoni touches (the mustard, pink or turquoise single walls; sparkly tiled showers and lacquered surfaces; the curtains which, with $4100 celine black leather python edge satchel gold zip top bag women& sheets of cotton strands hanging over them, give the effect of a drunken bar code) aren’t garish, just stylish.
“Fashion hotels are the ultimate in boutique hotels,” says Grazia’s fashion news editor (and proud Scot) Kay Barron. “Missoni’s presence is so strong, through the use of its prints and colour, that it lends itself perfectly to a hotel and its interior.” And while some of the London-based fashion set are moaning that Missoni went north of the border, Baron argues Edinburgh is the perfect location.
“Edinburgh has always been thought of as the stuffy fashion alternative to Glasgow. If Glasgow is seen as stylish then Edinburgh is simply classic, but the arrival of Harvey Nichols in 2002 gave locals the chance to experiment with new designers, while mixing it up with vintage finds from the city’s amazing retro shops. And Edinburgh is going to get even more fashionable – Edinburgh Art School has got a brilliant fashion department, and they’re setting up a fashion fund for Scottish students.”
Kurt Ritter, chief executive of hotel group Rezidor which is developing the chain with Missoni, says: “If we had waited for Milan or Paris to open up as a $1350 meteora celine ankle boots shoes black leather runway us 38 us 8 potential site we would still be waiting.” Ritter admits that now is “not the right time” to be launching a new luxury brand. But he insists Rezidor wants to see the project through, and argues that in the four years the hotel has taken to build, the hoardings and dimly fabulous lobby with its huge U-shaped bar have attracted growing interest from tourists and the businesses dotted along the Royal Mile.
Sitting on the hotel terrace in the early afternoon, there’s a rare moment of peace, as a bagpiper over the road by the site of Edinburgh’s last public execution, stops playing. Moments later, he’s beside me, having sneaked up to the hotel through the pub next door. “It looks great! How exciting!” he says, pipes jangling.
• Missoni (0131 220 6666; hotelmissoni.com) offers doubles from £210, including breakfast and free mini bar. Eva Wiseman travelled with National Express East Coast (0845 7225225; nationalexpresseastcoast.com). Fares from London to Edinburgh from £33 return.