Simplify, reduce, refocus: The work of fashion designers since the start of the pandemic has been mostly about stripping layers of stylistic excess, trying to unearth the authenticity at the heart of a brand. Fashion houses based on clear foundations seem to be at an advantage in this soul-searching process.
The House of Emilio Pucci certainly doesn’t lack identity—its roots are firmly planted in a very specific set of visual codes and signifiers. Yet its recent past has been rather rocky—its shine tarnished, its relevance diminished. It needed to be refreshed entirely.
To that end, appointing a new design team to redefine its offer has proved a sensible choice. Since resort 2021, the team in question has been working on the label’s lexicon in a light-handed way which feels right for today, favoring delicacy and subtlety rather than indulging in the bold-printed pyrotechnics that previous designers have found so mesmerizing. It’s easy to understand how a deep-dive into Pucci’s extraordinary archive can prove a rather heady experience. But the creative people currently in charge seem to possess the antidote that somehow could break its spell.
A considerate reductionist approach was quite coherently proposed throughout the pre-fall collection, where wardrobe staples were gently Pucci-fied with archival prints in de-saturated cosmetic hues. Even if sometimes the color palette felt toned-down to the point of evanescence, it looked charming enough. Silhouettes were elongated and tapered; slender blazers were lightly padded and worn over bustiers and matching high-waisted short shorts—a nod to the ‘Holidays in Capri’ high-style feel that Pucci made famous.
All-over printed leggings and bodysuits, which are all the rage today, were proposed by Pucci in the ’60s in the first place; they’ll certainly prove a hit when they’re delivered to stores this summer.
Slightly sport-infused pieces—a printed anorak cut in smooth satin duchesse; a sleek coat with light padding for warmth and comfort—also looked covetable, as they retained the sophisticated edge and the racy sense of ease Marchese Pucci’s jet set clients so appreciated. What could be more comfortable than a chic, sexy T-shirt dress cut like the one Marilyn Monroe made famous? Reality feels less prosaic when jazzed up with just a dash of glamour—it rings true today more than ever.