I'm not into astrology, but zero knowledge of the zodiac was necessary to know that the Emilio Pucci show on Saturday would bring change. After months of speculation and cryptic working on the invitation that read "with gratitude to Peter Dundas," showgoers entered the Palazzo Serbelloni expecting a something special — a supposed last hurrah from the designer who's been Pucci's creative lead since 2008, though the fact as to whether he's actually exiting was purposely kept vague. (Reps for Pucci did not immediately return our request for confirmation.)
For his final (?) showing, Dundas looked to the stars for inspiration (along with an entirely black and white collection that Emilio Pucci designed in the '50s) and this came through in the twinkling embroidered pieces, a series of looks in dark navy blue, star signs embroidered onto separates with gold beads and, most obviously, giant graphics of the zodiac symbols as a running motif. These constellation-inspired patterns really came to life in the finale dresses, which were expertly crafted and completely dazzling as they walked down the runway.
The sex appeal that Dundas has brought to the brand over the years was alive and well, too: There were peek-a-boo bandage dresses, open backs and lots of sheer and short hemlines (not to mention Gigi Hadid in a bodycon cheetah print number). The bohemian attitude he's become known for appeared in the form of suede fringe, flowy silk eveningwear and some very cool mixed-material booties. A pair of finely beaded macramé-esque minidresses in black and white — which reveled plenty of skin through the open weaving — were perfect examples of Dundas's skill.
Unsurprisingly, Dundas was able to wrangle an impressive lineup of models to walk in the show, including Eva Herzigova, Karlie Kloss, Hilary Rhoda, Joan Smalls, Anja Rubik and Natasha Poly who have all supported his work at Pucci — the latter two even called upon Dundas to design their wedding dresses in 2011.
As Dundas came out to take his bow — ironically (or not) as Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" finished booming through the speakers — his design team swiftly followed, cheering for him loudly and leading many audience members to rise for a standing ovation. While we don't know what's in the stars for the house of Pucci or for Dundas himself next season — although whispers in the crowd suggest that he'll be groomed to take over at Roberto Cavalli, where he worked as chief designer in the early 2000s — if I may borrow from the show notes, we're confident they'll both move "upward and onward to new magical journeys."
See the full fall collection below.