Emilio Pucci's New Solid Black Chic

Godfrey Deeny
Runway Model
FWD201 Model walks the runway at the Emilio Pucci show during Fall 2012 Fashion Week in Milan on Saturday, February 25, 2012. (Fashion Wire Daily/Gruber)

It's a mark of the self-confidence of Pucci's creative director Peter Dundas that his latest collection for the house of Emilio Pucci, the print label par excellence of Italy, was, in the main, composed of all-black outfits.

And, it's a further mark of his success that this was a uniquely accomplished fall 2012 show and collection; one that will find many clients eager to wear it and one that further establishes Dundas' already respected reputation as a Top 20 designer on the international scene.

Of the 45 looks in the show, staged in an opulent Renaissance palazzo in central Milan on Saturday, Feb. 25, the first 10 were jet black. Opening with a trio of slashed black silk cocktails and hitting a great moment with a surgically cut warrior babe, side slashed crocodile dress that won an audible gasp of envy from many women in the audience.

Yet, while black, the collection still felt thoroughly Pucci in the sense that it had the self-confident optimism that will always distinguish this brand. The designer did whip up a few prints, tapping into Carta Fiorentina, an antique Tuscan paper, and it came across as a wonderfully fresh take on Florence by the Norwegian-born Dundas.

"The Pucci girl may be a hippie at heart, but sometimes she wants to dress up a little. Nothing is more sexy that a beautiful woman in her boyfriend's white shirt, or his tuxedo thrown over her shoulders," said the designer backstage.

Dundas also has a cute way of drafting in elements of other designers' but giving them his own stamp. The slashed silk cocktails recalled Thierry Mugler, yet avoided that designer's more absurdist proportions. Sleek tuxedos, inevitably, evoked Yves Saint Laurent, but, once again, Dundas' racier take and bravura elongated lapels gave them his own upbeat twist.

Mannish double-breasted redingotes, smoking hot metal insertion cocktails and a charming over the top white mink duffel coat, that Dundas, straining credulity, suggested a bride should wear down the isle, all made this a hit collection and show.