Today's post, originally published in 2010, explores a 1964 Pucci print inspired by designer Emilio Pucci's travels in Africa.
Emilio Pucci's (1914-1992) intensely colored prints are one of the most easily identifiable signatures in fashion. Often described as "kaleidoscopic," a classic Pucci print is a swirling mass of abstract shapes, sinuous lines and wild color. Emilio Pucci designed these prints himself, drawing inspiration from his Italian heritage and his extensive travels around the globe. The dynamic composition of the prints was perhaps inspired by Pucci's experience as a World War II pilot. In later years, he "clearly recalled the constant movement and the kaleidoscope of colors that spread out before him" when flying over Europe.1
By the early 1960s, Pucci prints, in the form of lightweight, easily packed silk jersey dresses, were tremendously popular with the international jet set. Not only were the prints exciting, the fit was also provocative. Pucci's dresses were designed to highlight the body, lacking the rigid understructure of most 1950s dress designs. Widely copied at all price-points, the exuberant pattern and figure-skimming silhouette of a Pucci dress embodied the youthful, optimistic spirit that dominated the 1960s.