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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

The VFG is a non-profit international educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vinta… [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Emilio Pucci Black & Blue Cashmere Print ScarfEmilio Pucci Made In Italy Silk Jersey Fabric Cm 140 X 140As Worn By Meryl Streep - Pucci Orange Glasses In Dolce & Gabbana CaseEmilio Pucci Made In Italy Heavy Pure Silk Satin Fabric Cm 180x 140Emilio Pucci Signature Hand Rolled Foulard Twill Butterfly Tendrils Silk ScarfEmilio Pucci Made In Italy Shining Pure Silk Chiffon Fabric Cm 200x 140Emilio Pucci Vintage Pink Floral Silk Dress With Belt Sz 12Emilio Pucci Made In Italy Heavy Pure Silk Satin Fabric Cm 200x 140Emilio Pucci Yellow Mod Print V-neck Sheath Dress Size Us 10Emilio Pucci Vintage Long Gown/dress With SashDesigner Pucci Dress Vintage Size 8 1970's Neiman MarcusVtg 1960s Emilio Pucci Multi-color Print DressSz 38 Emilio Pucci Lavender Purple Wool Sheath Dress Lace Cut Out $1295 PerfectEmilio Pucci Apres Ski Snow Moon Boots Women's Eu 35-37 Us 5/7Emilio Pucci Teal & White Silk Mod Print Long ScarfVintage Emilio Pucci 100% Silk Dress C1960Emilio Pucci Silk Scarf Nwot ItalyEmilio Pucci Made In Italy Pure Silk Screpe Fabric Cm 200x 140Emilio Pucci Firenze Cream Blue Pink Black Silk Scarf W Swirling Abstract Print Emilio Pucci Blue Geometric Print Slim Cut Pants Size 6Rosenthal Vase 7 1/2" Emilio Pucci Mid Century Theo Baumann - Piemont Flowers Emilio Pucci Hot Pink Gray Signature Print 3/4 Sleeve Dress ~ 38 4 Us PerfectEmilio Pucci Silk/wool Scarf Emilio Pucci Vivara Super 7.5 Ml 0.25 Oz Parfum Perfume Nov26Vintage Signor Vivara Emilio Pucci Duo Gift Set New In Box Cologne/after ShaveEmilio Pucci Women's Floral 100% Silk Multi Color Long Rectangular Scarf 4 Rosenthal Dinner Plate 10 1/2" Piemonte Studio Linie Emilio Pucci4 Rosenthal Cup Saucer Piemonte Studio Linie Emilio PucciEmilio Pucci 100% Silk Scarf Multi-color Abstract Print Made In Italy 35 X 35"Pucci Bow Tie New Tory Burch Heavenly Pucci Chole Alien Angel Or Demon Perfume Spray SamplesEmilio Pucci Pre-owned Sneaker Multie Color Great Shape Size 41 Size 10Emilio Pucci $495 Bikini Two Piece Sz 40/42 Pink Gray Taupe Geo Halter Top SwimWomen's Emilio Pucci Multi-color Satin Mules Kitten Heels Size 8Emilio Pucci Cocktail Dress Size S 100% Cotton, Brown, Sexy4 Vintage Rosenthal Coupe Soup Bowl Piemonte Studio Pinie Emilio PucciEmilio Pucci Iconic Pucci Print Geometric Abstract Blue Handsome Silk Neck Tie