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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Historic, Iconic — and Fun!

Pucci dresses up Florence’s Baptistery

19 Июня 2014

Pucci’s monumental installation: Emilio Pucci “dresses” the Baptistery of San Giovanni with the colours and graphics of the Battistero scarf
Pucci’s monumental installation: Emilio Pucci “dresses” the Baptistery of San Giovanni with the colours and graphics of the Battistero scarf

Like a colourful chocolate box trussed up for presentation, the vivid colours and patterns of a Pucci scarf stand out against the towering dome and marble façade of Florence’s "Duomo". Only "Emilio" scribbled on the colourful covering of the Baptistery reveals the story to bemused tourists.

A giant size portrayal of the original framed scarf displayed on one side of the Baptistery of San Giovanni
A giant size portrayal of the original framed scarf displayed on one side of the Baptistery of San Giovanni

"Monumental Pucci" is an art work to celebrate the 60th anniversary of "Firenze: Hometown of Fashion". Its origin is an actual scarf designed by the Marchese Emilio Pucci in 1957 with a print of an aerial view of the Piazza San Giovanni.

Emilio Pucci’s daughter and CEO Laudomia with Suzy
Emilio Pucci’s daughter and CEO Laudomia with Suzy

Inside the Palazzo Pucci, where I still remember meeting Emilio himself, dressed in his Florentine costume for a parade, his daughter Laudomia, CEO and keeper of the Pucci flame, told me the story.

Palazzo Pucci opened its doors for the
Palazzo Pucci opened its doors for the "Design the Dream" experience

"All the details are correct," Laudomia said, running her fingers across the three dimensional drawing for the original "Battistero" scarf. The architectural accuracy printed on the soft-flowing silk revealed the skill of Emilio Pucci and explained why the colourful patterns in the palazzo, from rounded 1960’s chairs to 1970’s terry towel beach robes, look so modern today. It would have been her father Emilio Pucci’s 100th birthday later this year.

The Pucci maison opened its archives at Palazzo Pucci
The Pucci maison opened its archives at Palazzo Pucci

Emilio Pucci, like all great designers, caught the moment — the spirit of his time. It was when the newly minted jet set moved from the United States to Florence to Emilio’s favourite Capri. Peter Dundas, the designer who re-interprets Pucci for today, joined the party to fete the drawing and printing techniques before digital patterns took over in a computerized world.

Pucci designer Peter Dundas with Suzy
Pucci designer Peter Dundas with Suzy

"Design the Dream" is more than a celebration of the designer’s skills and his choice of joyous colours — even though the Mediterranean blue, the Bougainvillea pink and buttercup yellow, outlined in black, transport me to sunny Riviera days and velvet dark nights.

Archival pieces on display at Palazzo Pucci
Archival pieces on display at Palazzo Pucci

Pucci, which is part of the LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) group, will contribute financially to the work on the octagonal Baptistery, now so artistically covered in 2,000 square meters of Pucci printed canvas and a giant silk scarf.

The Pucci coated octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni —
The Pucci coated octagonal Baptistery of San Giovanni — "Monumental Pucci" from afar

A detail of the scarf designed by Emilio Pucci in 1957 which features a view from above the Piazza San Giovanni interpreted in vibrant lemon yellow, orange, fuchsia and a touch of Emilio pink
A detail of the scarf designed by Emilio Pucci in 1957 which features a view from above the Piazza San Giovanni interpreted in vibrant lemon yellow, orange, fuchsia and a touch of Emilio pink

Follow Suzy Menkes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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