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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Scarves for a classy touchSan Francisco Chronicle (subscription), May 21st
Fashion-loving “Mad Men” fans know that the 1970s-style scarves worn by Don Draper's ex-wife, Megan, perfectly completed her Laurel Canyon bohemian look. With the decade's designs dominating again, a silk scarf is one of the easiest ways to refresh...Read more
Ladurée Launches Boxes Covered in Emilio Pucci FabricsArchitectural Digest (blog), May 18th
French macaron house Ladurée, known for its perfectly prim packaging, is punching things up this spring with boxes sheathed in Emilio Pucci's famous swirling fabrics. Done up in the fashion house's iconic Capri print, the fuchsia and turquoise ...Read more
Get pretty as Pucci with psychedelic makeup and hippie hairNew York Post, May 5th
Ultra-violet is the most vibrational color of all, and Peter Dundas tripped out on it in his spring collection for Emilio Pucci. Why not use this photo of Natasha Poly in his swirly, tie-dye gown as inspiration for some psychedelic makeup and hippie hair?...Read more
Striking Patterns, Bold Colors and Zodiac Motifs from Emilio Pucci in MilanFashionOne, April 30th
Let us introduce you to the latest designs from Emilio Pucci for autumn/winter 2015 presented at Milan Fashion Week. Take a look at the models in hair and makeup, where the look for the show was center parted straight hair and fresh makeup as they pose...Read more
Emilio Pucci Battistero Print Benefits Baptistery RestorationArchitectural Digest (blog), April 30th
In 1957 fashion designer Emilio Pucci—forever inspired by his Florentine surroundings—created a hand-drawn print in the likeness of the city's dazzling octagonal landmark: the Baptistery. Appropriately named Battistero, the illustration became one of...Read more
Massimo Giorgetti Is in at Pucci: Here's What You Need to Know About the ...Vogue.com, March 20th
Lest you think that the seemingly never-ending game of Young Designer Musical Chairs had paused, well, it didn't: Hot on the heels of Peter Dundas taking the reins at Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci has just announced that its new creative director will...Read more
Emilio Pucci Names New Creative DirectorVogue.co.uk, March 20th
FOLLOWING the departure of Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli earlier this week, Emilio Pucci has announced that it has replaced him with Massimo Giorgetti. Currently the creative director for Milan-based label MSGM, which he founded in 2009, Giorgetti...Read more
Emilio PucciStyle.com, February 28th
It was all but official before the show began. This would be Peter Dundas' last collection for Emilio Pucci. The reasons still aren't clear, but if we had to guess, it's because Dundas' Pucci is more hot-blooded than blue-blooded. Pucci, the brand, was...Read more