Pucci stages vibrant riverside show in Florence
Camille Miceli unveiled her first collection for Pucci in Capri in April 2022. A year later, on Thursday May 4, the designer fêted her first anniversary as creative director of the Italian luxury label, of which LVMH took complete control in June 2021, by staging her first runway show. For the occasion, Miceli decided to return to Florence, where the label was founded in 1947 by the marquis Emilio Pucci, picking one of the Tuscan city’s finest venues, the renowned clubhouse of the Società dei Canottieri Firenze rowing club.
The sun was setting, glowing through the arches of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, while the river Arno glittered under a rosy sky: Miceli couldn’t have chosen a more evocative setting to make a great impression. Ensconced in wicker chairs under huge colourful sunshades featuring Pucci’s cheerful printed patterns, some 300 guests, among them US rapper Ice Spice and her compatriot Saint Jhn, actress Emma Myers and fashion designers Ebony and Jenna Tyson, sipped daintily from their champagne flutes as they waited for the celebrations to start.
As usual, Miceli chose to tread an unconventional path. To showcase her first two Pucci collections, she opted for original experiential events, the first held in Capri, the Mediterranean island that was a legendary jet-set destination in the 1960s, the second in the chic Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz. On Thursday night, Miceli instead staged an informal show brimming with the label’s energy. The event felt more like a gang of friends’ jolly get-together than a pageant-style classic show.
The first model appeared like a Madonna, on a boat gliding slowly underneath Ponte Vecchio and on towards a jetty. Clad in an airy, ample multi-coloured caftan, made in pumped-up parachute canvas, the young woman strode confidently among chairs and low coffee tables. “The caftan is synonymous with Pucci,” said Miceli backstage. She couldn’t have opened the show with anything but a caftan. There followed a series of looks consisting of tops and trousers and short dresses, all in pristine white, punctuated by the occasional colourful detail for the eyes to feast on. Then, the audience was once again plunged into a swirl of colour.
Miceli has cleverly blended a selection of Pucci’s archival prints, refreshing and reinterpreting them in tongue-in-cheek fashion, as in the long dresses and black knitwear leggings accented by jacquard bands that replicate the borders of some of Pucci’s scarves, or the crisp, easy outfits in jersey, cotton and silk that riff on the label’s most recognisable patterns, the recurrent themes of Pucci's collections over the years. Like the 1968 Marmo print, featured on laser-treated jeans, or the Iride and Fiamme prints from 1970, the Girandole from 1966, and the famous Pesci (fish) pattern, which Miceli has introduced again in new colourways and variants.
The looks are designed for the beach, and also to outfit all sorts, from the schoolgirl in socks and miniskirt to the tomboy in a laddish get-up with a water bottle, the rocker girl in a bomber jacket and orange skirt, and the chic, posh young lady in a white cotton-and-lace blouse and black jacket enhanced with white sequins, not to mention all those who love a dip in the sea.
The maritime world was the main inspiration for Pucci’s colourful collection, which consists of 40 looks and assorted beachwear outfits, including swimsuits, caftans, lightweight floaty silk dresses, skintight jumpsuits and more. The show was brought to a close by a series of jumpsuits with psychedelic patterns that cling to the body from head to toe, like a diver’s wetsuit.
There was of course a profusion of accessories, like the uber-chic pool noodles decorated with Pucci prints, the maxi beach totes and the cloche hats that sported a pair of sunglasses on their brims, the better to stare out of. The same playful vibe featured in the ‘Puccinella’ wicker basket tote decorated with appliqué eyes and mouth in the shape of silk bikinis.
“After the beach, the girls are flying to the moon,” quipped a relaxed Miceli backstage, after the show. Pucci’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection is called ‘Initials E.P.’, and will be available in-store from May 5. It was also inspired by the logo of NASA’s 1971 space mission, designed by Emilio Pucci for the Apollo 15 crew. “The space reference is a novelty in the label's vocabulary. I used it to explore the idea of air. We’ve worked chiefly with silk fabric laminated with gold leaf, to achieve a crackled iridescent effect, and with a Ristop fabric with a frosted finish,” Miceli told FashionNetwork.com.
The result was a series of unexpected outfits made in this shiny, crinkled material, akin to chocolate wrappers or the survival blankets that migrants rescued from shipwrecks are bundled into, and which Miceli utilised to create rounded mini dresses, long hooded windbreakers, and sparkling jacket-and-trouser sets fit for astronauts.
After the show, everyone partied until dawn, to the sound of an upbeat soundtrack in a blissfully carefree atmosphere.
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