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Looking for Fashion's Spring >
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as four Interview >
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Spring 2005
A Jeweled Passion >
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Coco Kliks Interview >
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Carol Christian Poell >
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SF Fashion Week >

Building his signature label from the ashes of World War II, Marchese Emillio Pucci di Barsento could not have imagined that one day his breezy, colorful designs in freestyle patterns would be replaced by the brooding solemnity of black. At the time Pucci’s free-spirited wispy creations cast in a color range straight from the Mediterranean coast; turquoise, aquamarine, ultramarine, azure and emerald, were a break from pessimism and austerity that prevailed. However, today, in the hands of master couturier Lacroix, the Italian fashion house is evolving into something quite different than what the founding father intended.

As opposed to dominating the collection the signature psychedelic Pucci swirls now play second fiddle to cut and construction. Bringing back the puffball skirts he used to resuscitate the Jean Patou name, Lacroix is clearly putting his own spin on things. Setting a cornucopia of luxurious details like lame prints, patchwork and fur accents, on an 80s silhouette, defined by strong shoulders, the designer is reinventing Pucci.

Opening with a simple polo neck, knee-length, semi-fitted black dress with dolman sleeves Monsignor Lacroix made a bold statement of minimalist elegance. Then bringing back memories of Audrey Hepburn’s adorable beatnik style in Funny Face the maestro matched massive blouson jackets with skin tight pants. Eventually, zingy hues like orange, purple, lilac and citrus seeped into the collection, but the background (disbarring a few chiffon and taffeta evening gowns) remained pitch black.

This season the Pucci look played up big shawl collars, puff sleeves gathered at the elbows, tight undersleeves, strapless fitted bodices, voluminous skirts arranged into informal ruches, outsized lapels, and boat necks -- cast in all black. Yes, black is back and black is beautiful. May it be a chine-de-crepe top, a key-hole peasant shirt, or a neck tie blouse, it looks better in black. The word is out; Lacroix is phasing out the kaleidoscopic colors of Pucci or at best he is giving them ‘fringe’ supporting roles.



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