FLORENCE — There was a full moon, the Ponte Vecchio on the background at dusk and the carefully tended lawns on the banks of the Arno river. Camille Miceli sure knows how to set the stage.
For her first fashion show for Pucci, Miceli chose Florence, home to Emilio Pucci, and to be sure the designer wanted to pay tribute to the founder of the brand in more ways than one.
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After the experiential events in Capri and Saint Moritz, Miceli turned to the moon — infusing some looks of the collection with a reference to an intriguing element of Pucci’s history that may not be extensively remembered today.
In 1971, Emilio Pucci designed a red, white and blue Apollo 15 emblem for the mission’s astronauts. The circular patch was placed over the heart of the uniforms of David Scott, Alfred Worden and James Irwin. It showed three boomerang‐shaped objects flying in formation above the moon — representing the three astronauts.
Under her watch, this meant Pucci’s motifs infused with a ’60s Space-Age vibe. Printed silk twill was laminated with gold foil for a crackled iridescence on shimmering dresses, crop tops and hooded bomber jackets. Ripstop was treated with a frosted, silver effect. Miceli’s designs are not for the wallflower kind of woman.
Air, said Miceli, was the starting point for the see now, buy now collection, which she unveiled at the rowing association Canottieri di Firenze on Thursday evening.
In fact, the first look was a flowing, feather-light caftan embellished with Pucci’s Pesce motif, seen on a model standing on a small, simple boat on the Arno. Slowly, the oarsman approached the runway and the show kicked off in earnest. The throngs of tourists on the Ponte Vecchio were in for an unexpected spectacle.
“It looks like the model could fly away,” Miceli explained ahead of the show, emphasizing the importance of lightness in the silk and chiffon dresses fluttering in the breezy, balmy spring evening.
Miceli felt the time had come to hold a show to present the collection in its entirety. “Last winter, I felt the skiwear emerged more than the whole lineup,” she said.
She had been staying away from traditional fashion shows, unveiling her first designs for Pucci in April last year over a fun-packed weekend of lunches, yoga classes and partying in Capri, the jet-set island where the founder opened his initial boutique in 1951. This was followed by another event in Saint Moritz in December.
However, she underscored that the show feels right now but that she does not want to be “stuck in a format,” leaving the future open to questions.
Miceli emphasized that, while the fashion on the runway may indeed reflect her personality — her joyful and playful attitude come to mind — the collection was entirely an homage to Emilio Pucci — hence her decision to dub the collection E.P. “His initials are enough,” she said, pointing to Serge Gainsbourg’s “Initials B.B.” 1968 song about Brigitte Bardot, so famous that her name did not need to be spelled out.
“For sure there is a part of myself in the collection, but Emilio comes before, I am here to serve the house and mold myself,” she said.
There were a few all-white looks — not a color generally associated with Pucci — on fitted jeans, a short dress, a crop top embellished with flowers, and an emphasis on Pucci’s artisanal techniques. They were preparatory to the prints identifiable with the brand, she said, which were dominant, such as the Girandole print on a series of knits.
The signature Marmo print appeared as allover denim, which has been laser-treated and washed with reused water. A fringed, shawl-collar jacket paired with a miniskirt had a ’90s attitude.
The beach is never too far from Miceli’s mind, and her printed bikinis were sexy, juxtaposed with wet suits — also printed, and further jazzed up by sequins, clearly more disco-ready than fit for a snorkeling session.
For the finale, Miceli showed eight print catsuits, adding layers of gold jewelry and chains entwined around the body — a reference, she admitted, to her past experience as a jewelry and accessories designer. After all, before joining Pucci in September 2021, Miceli was accessories creative director at Louis Vuitton.
Indeed, there was also a focus on the accessories — fun yet functional, from the bucket bag piped with prints to the Puccinella in straw with playful bikini detail.
Miceli confirmed she wanted to establish Pucci as a resort brand, in line with parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s guidelines, but her goal is now to expand the collections to everyday life. Her belief in the see now, buy now format is unwavering.
“People zap from one thing to the other, forgetting easily and our brains are invaded by so much information. I don’t want to wait too long, I like the idea of click and go,” she explained.
She admitted she felt there had been an evolution over the past year. “We are aiming at bringing more women to Pucci, a trans-generational customer, and not only on the beach or on the slopes but into the city and anywhere, basically.”
Miceli has built a community of friends and this season it included “Wednesday” actress Emma Myers, and rappers and musicians Ice Spice and Saint Jhn, who enjoyed the after-show party at the location.
She also has one steadfast supporter, Sidney Toledano, head of the LVMH Fashion Group.
“I have always believed in Camille, she has the sense of the energy of the moment, she is a generous person and she is not inside a bowl,” Toledano said after the show. “She loves the story of Pucci and she pays homage to him but with the eyes of today. The key when you have a name like that is not only to pay homage otherwise you do a museum; it’s a talent. You can’t just be modern, you need to be talking to the future, and this is in the right direction. Before you put the rocket to the moon, you have to be sure to get there.”
Launch Gallery: Emilio Pucci RTW Spring 2023
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