Emilio Pucci Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2016 Milan
The long overdue new wave of Italian designers seem to have finally found a foothold in Milan. Massimo Giorgetti at Emilio Pucci, along with Fausto Puglisi and Alessandro Michele at Gucci, are proof of this fact. On Thursday it was down to Giorgetti to produce the goods at his debut show for the storied Pucci label.
Backstage, in front of his mood board for the show, the designer spoke passionately about making the past, specifically three key sea-inspired Pucci silk scarves from the 50s, into something relevant for 2016. "I really don't like when clothes smell like vintage," he specified. "The world has changed; it has to be about now."
There was a clear connection between the cockle shell image on one of those scarves and that same motif as a laser cut crochet knitwear pattern on a semi-sheer sweatshirt. Ditto the hand drawn siren scarf that, in Giorgetti's hands, became mermaid patches attached to a see through fishnet dress. The designer was certainly making his mark on the brand in a very bold way. But overall what looked good on paper didn't fully materialize on the catwalk.
At the outset of the show, the collection held real promise. A smooth sailing of sequins on daywear basics looked chic and asymmetrical knitwear was a fresh approach to the brand's graphic heritage. The idea of using colorful feather pressed underneath tulle was also an astute reimagining of the Pucci print. It’s a shame that the designer didn't develop it further than just one look. Even the choice to go with flat sandals made for a nice clean break from Giorgetti's predecessor.
However, at about the halfway mark, the show got into some seriously choppy waters. It was consumed by a kitschiness that saw pearls used like studs on hemlines, naive underwater sea life prints, and some fussy dresses crafted from different colored strips of foulards. Designs that didn't flow naturally from their predecessors.
And Giorgetti wasn't helped by the show's styling, with its granny-like glasses, footwear finished off in feather, and lackadaisical hair. It was difficult to watch the models and not think of another Italian brand that ends in -ucci.
But you have to hand it to the guy for having the courage to give this show a 180 change in direction. It's important to remember that those designers that dare to rework a famous house into their own image are the ones that really have a chance of giving the brand a new lease on life with next gen consumers.