Koché breathes fresh energy into Emilio Pucci
After a three-year absence, Emilio Pucci has made a powerful catwalk come-back under the mischievous direction of Christelle Kocher. The Italian luxury label has been without a creative director since 2017, following the departure of Massimo Giorgetti. This season, Emilio Pucci is ushering in a new approach, calling on external designers to reinterpret its archives. The first of them was French designer Christelle Kocher, who injected a hefty dose of her couture streetwear into the Florentine label’s chic, mildly flippant aesthetic.
The event was surely one of the most eagerly awaited of the Milan Fashion Week. Even though it featured only in the presentation programme, it attracted all the Italian fashion industry heavyweights, from the President of the Italian Fashion Chamber Carlo Capasa, to the boss of Pitti Uomo, Raffaello Napoleone. Also spotted in the front row was the CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, Sidney Toledano, in charge of numerous prestigious brands owned by the luxury group, among them Emilio Pucci.
The Koché revolution was palpable as soon as one stepped into the small deconsecrated church of San Paolo Converso, the show's venue. The audience was greeted by two stands where it was possible to customise the collection's t-shirts, by wall-to-ceiling video screens and holograms, and by an installation with a VR headset which offered an advance 3D preview of some of the looks.
A unique welcome, to clearly emphasise that Emilio Pucci is entering a new era. Songs by US rapper Lil Uzi Vert did the rest, the ideal soundtrack for this energetic show, hovering between a rave party and a jet-set gala evening. In a sign of change, for the first time male models trod the catwalk together with Emilio Pucci girls. And another first: jeans made their appearance in the label's wardrobe.
The models strutted energetically around the room, taking a spiralling path up a multi-level structure, creating a constant impression of movement on the set. A succession of dark ladies in glam gloves and black glasses with white pearl necklaces hanging down to the navel, of chic ladies wearing mini-dresses and cute orange wool overcoats, of sporty girls in glossy track suits embroidered with lace and pearls, of young women in flowing outfits, from t-shirt dresses to oversized polos worn over midi slit skirts or silk Bermuda shorts.
Kocher delved into the Emilio Pucci archives, borrowing prints, patterns and fabrics, which she then blended with gusto to modernise the label’s wardrobe, introducing a sombre colour palette brightened by a few vivid hues. The signature Emilio Pucci silk scarf cropped up in various guises: as a headscarf, tied around the thigh like a garter, worn cross-shoulder to hold up a pair of glasses, transformed into handbags, spilling out like a bouquet of flowers from the back pocket in a pair of jeans, or as a check print on a t-shirt.
A sporty chic vibe coexists with a very sexy boudoir mood, with thin-strapped silk jumpsuit dresses in bold colours, either embroidered or trimmed with lace, while bodysuits are left unbuttoned and worn over a pair of trousers. Lace tights, in black or fluorescent colours, are ubiquitous. The same lace decorates the shoulders and sleeves of a sweatshirt, or takes over an open-work maxi dress.
While infusing fresh zest into Emilio Pucci, Christelle Kocher added her own couture expertise, notably in some statement items like a dress, a top and a parka covered in feathers and decorated with pearls. “I’m bringing freshness and energy to Emilio Pucci. At the same time, the craftsmanship involved is incredible. I wanted something very feminine and soft, but also to inspire confidence with a few unisex items,” Kocher told FashionNetwork.com after the show.
According to the founder's vigilant daughter, Laudomia Pucci, image director and vice-president of the label, the exam was passed with flying colours. “Christelle Kocher’s interpretation is highly innovative. She has worked a great deal on the archives, translating them into her own lexicon in a contemporary way. The result is vibrant, amusing, very easy to grasp and at the same time sophisticated,” said Pucci.
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