Pucci: Shaping Fashion

When you think of Emilio Pucci, you think swirling, hypnotic strokes of colour and print. However, the legacy designer’s contribution to fashion extends far beyond that, and into the world of form, function, and pure style.

Arguably one of the most interesting personalities ever — Emilio Pucci was born into nobility as Emilio Pucci, Marquis di Barsento, and was a proud athlete and Olympic skier when he accidentally founded the brand bearing his name. He opened the first boutique in 1950 in Capri. As a sportsman coming into fashion, it was inevitable that sports-infused silhouettes, fabrics, and inspiration were at the centre of his design universe. Through his daughter, Laudomia Pucci, who now carries forward his legacy today, we hear his fascination for the female form. It is said that Emilio Pucci believed that a woman’s body was even more beautiful when in motion. And so, while his sportswear drew attention, even from the likes of Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland and the industry’s most revered voice in the 1950s, it was his vision for the feminine form that resonated then, and now, under the stewardship of his daughter.

We take a look at the Emilio Pucci silhouettes that shaped fashion through the years.

The Snugly Cut Capri

Known as ‘Emilio of Capri’, Pucci launched ‘Capris’ in the early 1950s inspired by fisherman trousers. They took up racks in his first ever boutique opened on the island. When he introduced them in 1953, they were considered a breath of fresh air. The ankle-grazing staples were poised for mega-sartorial fame —  in 1957, Audrey Hepburn wore a pair in the movie Funny Face, fueling the popularity of the silhouette. In the same vein, Marilyn Monroe was also photographed wearing a pair several times, fanning a fanatic-level obsession with the little trouser.

The Palazzo Pants 

A staple of the ‘60s, Emilio Pucci looked to the zeitgeist of the times to design his time-tested silhouettes, which see iterations and versions in fashion even today. It was a time of jet-setters, clothes demanded ease, comfort, and playfulness. And so, Pucci introduced the palazzo pants. Originally introduced by Coco Chanel as silk pyjamas in the late 1920s and 1930s, the term palazzo pants was coined by Diana Vreeland in the 1960s and brought into fashion by Pucci, who later popularised the silhouette. When Pucci first introduced the palazzo pants, the style was inspired by the Flower Power Movement of the 1960s: psychedelic prints with a burst of geometric and art-nouveau designs.

The Effortless Kaftan

The Kaftan finds its origin in the Middle East and North Africa and only became a staple in the 1960s after Emilio Pucci popularised it for the post-war globetrotting clientele. Some of the most memorable names in fashion have leaned heavily on the Pucci kaftan, including the larger-than-life editors Andre Leon Talley and Diana Vreeland. Their vibrant prints and loose-fitting style perfectly complemented the prevailing “ethnic” fashion trends of the era. In fact, in the 1960s, Andy Warhol’s venerable Interview magazine noted in a profile of the designer that “one couldn’t appear in St. Tropez, Palm Beach, or The Hamptons without an Emilio Pucci Kaftan.”

The Foulard Shirt

It was Stanley Marcus from Neiman Marcus who encouraged Pucci to come up with a line of foulard shirts using his signature kaleidoscopic prints and colours. Perfectly capturing the mood of the ‘Swinging Sixties’, a moment when the zeitgeist of fashion was moving away from the stiff old-world couture into modern ready-to-wear, a new line of shirts was introduced by Pucci, called the foulard shirt. Along with the signature Pucci scarf, these two statement pieces were considered a complete status symbol in the late 1960s and were later adopted in many of his runway shows.

Pucci drops anchor only at Le Mill on the 16th of May, 2024. To know more contact our stylists here.