A colorful look at an adventurous Italian fashion legend whose social life was as rich as his designs.
A number of great coffee table books came out this season, but one I particularly enjoyed was Emilio Pucci, a book dedicated to the Florentine free spirit of the same name. As the story unfolds, we learn that Emilio decided to break from a 1,000-year family tradition of aristocratic privilege (meaning no work) and turned his hand to industry.
What started out as a few simple designs for skiwear turned into an internationally renowned design house. Emilio’s silhouettes and colorful prints are truly iconic and, in many ways, ahead of the times. Versace was an admirer, and everyone from Christian Lacroix to Hubert de Givenchy gives their take of the designer in this book.
Beyond Emilio’s designs, his life and lifestyle are worth further investigation. He was a championship skier, a two-time member of parliament, a decorated air force pilot and prisoner of war…not to mention a celebrated ladies man. In fact, an early affair with Benito Mussolini’s daughter landed him in a Nazi jail.
The book itself, a limited run of 10,000 published by Taschen, is a beautiful tomb of Emilio’s archival designs. It’s exquisite, with each cover bound in a vibrant fabric from a recent collection. Beyond that, it’s fun to explore: the publication features hundreds of sketches, personal notes and photographs from a truly colorful life.
This one is a bit pricy, as it’s a very big book, but it’s worth the investment to spark your creativity. If you can’t buy it, promise yourself you’ll check it out at the bookshop.