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Emilio Pucci’s New Creative Director Doesn’t Like the Word ‘Luxury’

It's a new era at the Italian house, starting with spring 2016.
A look from Emilio Pucci's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from Emilio Pucci's spring 2016 collection. Photo: Imaxtree

Of all the designer debuts taking place this week — Arthur Arbesser at Iceberg, Peter Dundas at Roberto Cavalli and Massimo Giorgetti at Emilio Pucci — I was most excited for the latter. The highly wearable, cool-girl aesthetic of Giorgetti's line MSGM differs so greatly from how we picture Emilio Pucci, designed for the past seven years by Dundas.

We got a taste of his vision for the brand earlier this year at Pitti Uomo, but the "new Emilio Pucci," as Giorgetti (and everyone else) was calling it, had its real debut Thursday at a raw, cavernous show space. The LVMH-owned brand called it "Episode 1." Accompanied by a mix of orchestral and original versions of "Reptilia" by The Strokes, models walked out in a series of languid skirts and dresses that hung loosely on the body, many of them cut into strips at the bottom, like petals. Some were striped, while others featured seaside-inspired prints and textures, like sequins that recalled a sparkling ocean.

The nautical inspiration became more literal later on, with shells and sea creatures adorning everything from sheer, netted pants and blouses to pajama-inspired separates and lightweight trench coats. The phrase "urban mermaids" was mentioned in the show notes.

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Meanwhile, Pucci's signature scarves could be seen in strips sewn together to create shoulder-baring dresses. In the statement accessory department, there were shoes covered in feathers and goggle-like glasses.

MSGM has become a street style hit, and we could see this collection becoming that as well. While loud, the clothes are modern and wearable. "I'm always asking about the reality of the customer and what women want," explained Giorgetti when asked what he wanted to change about the brand. "This new Emilio Pucci is more careful about this fact about what a woman, what a girl desires."

Still, while there may be some overlap now, he feels the Pucci customer is not the MSGM customer. The reason? Price point, though he didn't explicitly say that. "[At Pucci,] we use tulle and sequins, real feathers. All the fabrics and details are — I don't like the word luxury — but I love the word 'well-done.' Artisanal."

A creative director who likes The Strokes and dislikes the word luxury? Things are certainly changing in Milan.