Since his arrival at Pucci, Peter Dundas has imbued his aesthetic on the house, fusing his particular all-eyes-on-me allure with the Pucci heritage. Over the past several seasons in particular, it has worked very well. But Dundas shifted the balance dramatically for fall, downplaying those iconic prints more than ever, which is understandable. Exuberant and engaging as they are, they are also limiting.

However, opting for a lot of solid black shown in a way that could be described as slash-and-burn seemed a peculiar way to take on the task. Sheer insets that cut across the chest, hips, and in some cases, the rear end, were the main decorative effect on curvy dresses with high necks and long sleeves. While sexy and glam, they lacked elegance.

Dundas’ other major motif: mannish tailoring that hailed from the Saint Laurent school of thought. This proved more successful. By day, there were plenty of smart, sensible coats — a clear indication of Dundas’ savvy desire to broaden the collection’s range — and by night, smokings, including a white tuxedo jacket with a black shawl lapel shown over a slinky black gown. The few printed alternatives came in snug but fluid Seventies-style dresses and pajamalike looks that provided an essential, if scarce, link to the Pucci of yore.

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