Sea and sun, bougainvillea and lemons. The Piazzetta and La Grotta Azzurra, the Bagni Tiberio and La Canzone del Mare beach establishment. In the Odyssey, Homer describes the magical creatures that lived here, half woman and half fish, who tried to seduce Ulysses with their song. Cradle of creativity and fine retreat for poets and artists, from the 1950s it has been the destination of the international jet set, an exclusive location for summers spent in white trousers and woven sandals, admiring the stunning view of the sun going down behind the Faraglioni.
Capri, the mythical Mediterranean island suspended in the Gulf of Naples, is the place chosen by Emilio Pucci, a symbolic Italian brand, to present the first collection created by the Italian-French designer Camille Miceli.
In the last weekend in April, a full three days of fashion events re-evoking the time of the Dolce Vita. A small group of guests, including the famous American rapper Gunna who performed a show in the Piazzetta playing with the historic folk band Scialapopolo, experienced the carefree atmosphere of a Capri of yesteryear. Dinner at the restaurant Geranio, a yoga session at the Hotel Quisisana and then lunch at the Bagni Tiberio and the presentation of La Grotta Azzurra, as Camille has named her collection to relaunch the brand, today owned by French group LVMH. Instead of a fashion show of the line, which is now on sale exclusively at Mytheresa.com and in the Pucci boutiques, the event provided a tableau vivant presentation. Models in bikinis, like in a Slim Aarons photograph, stretched out on vintage sunbeds covered in coordinated Pucci-print towels, crossed their legs to the rhythm of Esther Williams. And to close, once the sun went down, a party held in the luxurious Villa Belsito, part of the exclusive collection of period properties, Capri Dimore Storiche.
The carefree atmosphere would certainly have appealed to Emilio Pucci, the Marquis of Barsento, born in Naples to an aristocratic family in 1914 and citizen of the world, who always cultivated an authentic passion for the island and expressed with his enlightened creativity all the joie de vivre that Capri, like Italy, has always conveyed to the world.
This year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of his death in Florence, where he established his Maison in the splendid Palazzo Pucci in the street of the same name, owned by the Pucci family, a stone's throw from the Brunelleschi Dome, which, since the sale of the brand to the French group, continues to preserve the precious archive, cared for by the Marquis's daughter, Laudomia Pucci.
It was in Capri that Emilio Pucci opened his first boutique at La Canzone del Mare establishment in Marina Piccola. Here, he sold the practical and chic fashion that, in February 1951, made its debut in Florence at Villa Torrigiani in the First Italian High Fashion show commissioned by Giovanni Battista Giorgini. His collections were revolutionary, with the distinctive features not initially color and print, but rather the workmanship of the models and the materials: functional and elegant.
The practical style was immediately very popular among American women, who wore his collections both at work and in their free time in vibrant US society. On active weekends, ready to play sports, on a busy work trip or relaxing on vacation. Actresses and personalities… Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. They all wanted to wear his light cotton shirts knotted at the waist, the shantung pants tapered at the ankle, or tie up their hair with one of his multicolored scarves. Pucci’s imagination evoked a magnificent image of the Mediterranean, inspired by the colors and shapes of the Grande Bellezza Italiana. Like an artist, a master of color, he successfully reproduced a picture postcard Italy with the sense of humor of the aristocratic but pragmatic man that he was. The prints, drawn by hand, and produced by the best silk factories in Como, led by Ravasi, shone with original colors, each with its own specific name. And thus the Emilio or the geranium pink, the ‘Capri blue’, the mint green or the lemon yellow were combined in joyful designs to create the symbolic Italian vacation destinations: Positano, Siena, Florence and of course Capri. But Pucci was also the first designer to sign his garments with his first name, an elegant and compact ‘Emilio’, while on one of the first labels he wanted to summarize the value of Italian-made fashion by combining the names Florence and Capri, and the silhouettes of the Faraglioni and Palazzo Vecchio, respectively symbols of the beauty of Italian landscape and the beauty of Italian art. This intuition is now being relaunched by the Maison with the collection ‘La Grotta Azzurra’. “Inspired by travel,” Camille Miceli tells us. “La Grotta Azzurra is designed for a modern woman with a nomadic spirit.
Pucci’s imagination evoked a magnificent image of the Mediterranean, inspired by the colors and shapes of the Grande Bellezza Italiana. Like an artist, a master of color, he successfully reproduced a picture postcard Italy with the sense of humor of the aristocratic but pragmatic man that he was.
I wanted to put Pucci on a new course, creating pieces suitable for all seasons and all destinations, to be mixed and matched at will. The prints refer to the origins of the Maison, with a new design method that respects the imperfection of things made by hand. An imperfection that, by Pucci, becomes perfection.” Short or long kaftans and kimonos are made of soft, fluid fabrics—cotton voile, silk mousseline, drill, stretch jersey, terry—paying homage to the iconic Pucci prints reworked in patchwork style mix-and-match or all-over in new dimensions and proportions … The extreme sophistication of simplicity. Dancing foulard miniskirts; playful shorts and trousers with XXL floral motifs; fringes and ribbons laced through metal eyelets highlight ankles, back, décolleté and curves. The accessories are also fun and alluring: the bags are in woven straw or canvas with two materials, but also made from upcycled scarves; the earrings are oversized and the sandals are either very high with colorful wedges or flat flip-flops. Finally, the new signature logo inspired by the 1953 ‘Capri Sport’ archive label. The logo features two intertwined fish that wink in a ‘P’ shape on belt buckles, wedges, clogs or pullovers.
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