Question: Where does postwar meet psychedelic? Answer: In the brain of Italian fashion designer Emilio Pucci, whose 1950s silk print dresses, tunics, and shirts were at once an antidote to 1940s monochromes and a preview of 1960s Technicolor pop.

Pucci was an Olympic skier at Lake Placid in 1934, and it was skiwear that first launched him onto the fashion stage. In 1947, while hitting the slopes in Zermatt, Switzerland, “Harper’s Bazaar” photographer Toni Frissell admired the stretch-fabric ski pants that Pucci had designed. Frisell invited Pucci to create some women’s winter fashions for an upcoming feature, which led to inquiries from Lord & Taylor and others who wanted to manage Pucci’s output.

Instead, Pucci struck out on his own, opening a shop on Capri that sold a lot of his swimwear. Before long, though, Stanley Marcus of Neiman-Marcus suggested he make blouses and dresses. Cut from silk and other lightweight fabrics, these clothes became instant favorites of jet setters, who had little room in their luggage as they winged their way to the world’s sunniest, and most fashionable, destinations.

In addition to tops, Pucci designed slacks—Capris, of course—in vibrant solid colors. He also created scarves, silk handbags, and gloves. Today, for the vintage clothing fan who can’t afford a 1950s or ’60s Pucci dress, a vivid Pucci scarf tied to almost any handbag can make strong statement.

No wonder: Typical Pucci colors range from a relatively understated, geometric combination in purple, aqua, and white to dresses crammed with trippy floral patterns of pink, green, yellow, and orange.

At Pucci’s height, everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Jackie Kennedy to Gina Lollobrigida wore Pucci. In the mid-1960s he designed uniforms for Braniff airline stewardesses, as well as a bubble helmet to keep their hair from being mussed when outdoors. Even Barbie wore Pucci.

By the 1980s the label had fallen into decline, but in the 1990s Pucci was back, as women snapped up Lycra leggings covered in Pucci’s riotous designs. Madonna shopped at Pucci, while designers such as Gianni Versace never disguised the debt they owed to the great Italian designer.


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Recent News: Emilio Pucci

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Natasha Poly claims Code Red Look of the Week honours with a knockout ...
The Daily Telegraph, November 22nd

NATASHA POLY. There is a severe shortage of printed gowns in Hollywood so every time one hits a red carpet it garners a lot of buzz. Emilio Pucci does prints better than most and this Spring 2015 piece was a knockout at a New York benefit on Wednesday...Read more

Emilio Pucci at 100: Brilliant by Design
TIME, November 20th

Emilio Pucci, the Italian designer known for striking, geometric patterns and wildly (but always tightly conceived) variegated colors in his fashion work, was born 100 years ago today, Nov. 20, 1914, in Naples. A member of an old Florentine noble...Read more

Emilio Pucci in America
Flagpole Magazine, November 11th

Nicknamed “The Prince of Prints,” Italian designer Emilio Pucci is best remembered for swirling, stream-of-consciousness patterns of brilliantly colored geometric shapes. Following a period marked by dull shades and heavy fabrics, his fun and flirty...Read more

Italian designer Emilio Pucci's work returns to Athens with Georgia Museum of ...
Atlanta Magazine, October 16th

Little-known fact: Italian aristocrat and fashion designer Emilio Pucci, famous for his kaleidoscopic patterns, studied agriculture at the University of Georgia in 1935. This month, a costume exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art, Emilio Pucci in...Read more

Emilio Pucci: The Rainbow Alternative for Milan Fashion Week
New York Times, September 21st

MILAN — Amid all this restraint, the Emilio Pucci collection stuck out like a many-spangled, rainbow-tinted thumb. There were tie-dyed spaghetti-strap chiffon maxi dresses and bead-encrusted every-inch-embroidered body-tracing minidresses; suede ...Read more

Backstage at Emilio Pucci Spring 2015
Women's Wear Daily, September 21st

Hairstylist Orlando Pita tapped a Seventies vibe through a "hippy-chic curl with wave, shine and quality.” Runway · Backstage/ Beauty. MILAN — Hairstylist Orlando Pita tapped a Seventies vibe through a "hippy-chic curl with wave, shine and quality.”...Read more

Emilio Pucci RTW Spring 2015
Women's Wear Daily, September 20th

IsSixWeeksAfterFashionWeek = false. Emilio Pucci. emilio pucci, rtw, spring 2015, fashion shows, reviews, runway, milan · Runway · pucci, backstage, spring 2015, fashion shows, reviews, runway, beauty,. Backstage/ Beauty · Emilio Pucci RTW Spring 2015...Read more

Emilio Pucci
Vogue.com, September 17th

THAT Seventies Show - is fast becoming the way to sum up Milan Fashion Week, from Gucci to Prada and onto Emilio Pucci. "It's always resonated with me. I think it's a reaction," said Pucci creative director Peter Dundas backstage by way of explanation...Read more