Made to Pleasure caught up with Emilio Pucci’s creative head – Peter Dundas at Vogue Dubai Fashion Experience.
Over sized aviators and an-all white dapper look has been her signature look. He represents the brand’s jet set lifestyle and enjoys dressing women in his va va voom creations. Over to the maverick…
How do you interpret your person style?
I’m a frustrated child from the seventies. I wear white all the time.
How was it taking over a brand like Emilio Pucci which is steeped in heritage and history?
Six years ago, the perception about the brand was mainly psychedelic prints and 60’s jet set. It was daunting because you realise that the house is colossal – there was a mix of classical sculptures and paintings. It became overwhelming. That was the great starting point. Mr Pucci himself became a very visible brand ambassador for his house. You try it in your way.
What inspires you?
Travel inspires me a lot. I’m always on the go and it’s not hard to pick things as one goes along. I lived the Pucci lifestyle – hanging out with the girls and understanding what they enjoy. Pucci was the pioneer in the lifestyle brand. When you buy into a brand you are buying into a lifestyle. I have been surrounded by good looking celebs – all to thanks to Pucci. The house attracts a high profile following.
What was your first job?
I would make clothes for my sister as a young kid. I started very early making clothes. My very first job as a costume designer for a theatre in Paris. I was an assistant costume designer. I made a leap from theatre to the runway. After the play, I got a call from Jean Paul Gaultier’s assistant. Gaultier talks a lot and I couldn’t understand him but I kept nodding me head. Two days later, I was hired as his assistant. One thing he always came back to was skirts for men and he made it more approachable. After Gaultier, I went to Lacroix. I got a call from Cavalli. In fact, I had never thought of going to Italy before. It was a great success and it was like a finishing school for me.
How are French and Italian ateliers different?
I love working for both French and Italian houses. French have a subtle seductive approach while Italians are more impulsive. There’s a difference in the craftsmanship. I love working with French atelier – the inside of a garment is as beautiful as the outside. I also love working in Italy – all the chaos and despite being disorganised, they all have a nobility.
Did you face any disadvantages?
When I came on board at Pucci, there were disadvantages. People had preconceived notions. Every house should have women as the focus and women can’t be forgotten in the process. Prints ignite surprise and sensuality. I loved all those things and then I started hanging out with the Pucci woman. They are beautiful and I’m happy when they wear my clothes and even when she changes something. Prints have been the bread and butter of the house. I innovated prints and made them fresh and young. I find the answers at the back of my head. I introduced embroideries, patchwork, spirit of the graphics – dip dyeing them, making them large.
What’s the importance of archives?
I really make it a point of not being a slave to them. You have to personalise it. I recolour them and use them on different material. Going too much into archive can be daunting. I found a way of being respectfully disrespectful. There’s a joy of life which I share with house of Pucci but it’s also my job to change it. You may not like it sometime but it’s my job to do it. Working with Pucci’s family member (Laudomia Pucci) is a very privilege situation. I use it as a litmus paper and exchange the ideas with her – techniques etc. Today I use technology and engineered prints. I try to be impulsive in my inspiration – it can be a word or colour something which builds your attention. You work with the subconscious in a way. My first collection was really like that – when I started scuba diving in Maldives. Later I was building a house in Greece and it became a Greek collection. When you make women desirable, you impart confidence and strength to them. I’m quite instinctive in the way I work.
How do you see the future of the brand?
It’s difficult to project. Today Pucci is twice as big when I joined and I’m proud of that. It’s our duty to be the best as we can be.