Peter Dundas really knows how to make a woman swoon. Showing at a small, intimate space, the Pucci girls for Spring 2013 were an overture of a Far Eastern fairytale kind of elegance, but in the most modern and chic way. Highly wrought, intricately worked and ultra feminine has always been Pucci’s game, but this season, Dundas applied his embellishment magic sparingly which made the impact all the more sensual.
One by one they wound their way through the marble floored multi-room chamber, breezing in and out of heavily gilded gold doors in an opening aria of pure whiteness. Light as air, transparency defined the mood, with lightness manifesting across all garments from sheer tunics layered over long, lean diaphanous chiffon trousers and silk crepe dresses inlaid with intricate white micro-beading depicting whispers of tigers and dragons that had an elegant tattoo-effect. The same appeared painstakingly applied to embroidered evening column dresses, sheer overlaid with veils.
A touch of the Vietnamese was palpable in underpinnings, detached linings and knot closures climbing up the front of tunics and the backs of dresses at once ticking an Asian reference box and creating the tactile effect of a spine. Girls were shod in towering carved bone or solid silver soled wedges, putting the models well on their way to seven feet thus glossing them with an other-worldy Game of Thrones epic sense of elegance. They were simply mesmerising. Pucci’s iconic 1972 Elisse print was rendered in a raspberry and black as well as green and tobacco and updated for 2013 with a wood blocking effect and fantasy eventually gave way to function as soft, printed silk boxing jackets and cropped bombers with Pucci “squadron” patches took the place of tailoring in the collection and were teamed with parachute silk cargo or pyjama pants.
For evening, the lightest of touches on body-cilnging columns transformed the girls into living wondrous artefacts perhaps to be found in a fantasy temple at the end of an adventure off the banks of a misty river somewhere in the depths of Indochina. Hand painted gold dragons and tigers were embroidered onto silk crepe creating an intricate gilded effect and perhaps even hinting at the sultriness of an opium den. As if to seal that final subtle nod to a sinister nighttime underworld laying in wait beneath the preceding realm of lightness, the final look was a high-necked mock-cheongsam poppy red gown, the only appearance of the hue in the whole collection, high-slit gown worn by Joan Smalls.