On the London street where I lived when I first moved to the big city – the Archway Road, if you’re asking – there is a Chinese takeaway where drunken, lumbering men go to re-fuel at the end of a night out. Often the stress induced sweat caused by one too many moves on the dance floor at the adjacent ‘Cipriani All Night Bar’ leads them to remove their shirts, which they then hang around their necks like a sportsman would a towel. While geographically the Pucci show took place in a much more refined setting – Palazzo Serbelloni beats zone two - the aesthetics on offer were much the same.
The opening ten or so looks lulled us waiting viewers into a false sense of security. Fluid, sheer white pieces constructed from chiffon and silk crepe looked almost restrained, elegant even. Alas this was just the aperitif. Next we were treated to a flurry of printed jackets, sheer trousers and belted dresses, in a range of hues from lime green to royal blue and bright red. Asia was the big theme. Peter Dundas had been looking both to China and Vietnam, hence the hand-painted gold dragons, tigers and fauna on silky robe-like pieces (they reminded me less of kimonos and more of those shiny cropped dressing gowns that boxers wear on their way into the ring). Not content with simply decorating his garments with a print, Dundas also emblazoned many of them across the back with a garish stitched ‘PUCCI’ slogan, creating an effect that resembled an ever so slightly up market version of the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit - apt, perhaps, given the showy penchant of the Pucci shopper.
The collection hoped to evoke ‘the sultriness of an opium den’ – instead it just felt a bit stuffy. A shame, as in between the tacky eye-catchers, there were some subtle hidden potential gems.