Pucci Returns to Capri – The New York Times
CAPRI, Italy – In a place that requires no filters, it was amazing how many such tools were in use on a springtime April afternoon. The opportunity? A fresh start for Emilio Pucci, the Florentine label founded by Marchese Emilio Pucci in 1947, and the first offerings under its new artistic director, Camille Miceli. About 175 guests took part in a three-day celebration of nonstop Instagram fodder.
Once upon a time, Slim Aaron would have been the one who captured such happenings of the beautiful world. These days, it’s the likes of Wu Jie, a 21-year-old Milanese influencer. A self-proclaimed cool hunter, her name is niki_wujie and she is from Zhengzhou in central China.
“We need curiosity,” she said. “Otherwise you get bored in a second. Marks should be active now.
Ms. Miceli presented her first collection on this island in the Gulf of Naples, where Emilio Pucci used to spend his summers with friends and high-society clients and which has been a fashion magnet since Roman times. To show off her new creations, she chose to forgo a traditional runway format. Instead, the island was transformed into a backdrop to showcase his designs. That meant a three-day carnival of connected vignettes in which Pucci-clad models mingled with guests at lively parties, on the beach and on the dance floor.
Lucky guests were airlifted, carried on waiting boats to the Marina Grande, the island’s main port, then taken by funicular to the town of Capri – Pucci fabric was wrapped around the handrails – to stay at the Grand Hotel Quisisana.
To kick off the festivities on Thursday, guests gathered at Bar Tiberio on the picturesque piazzeta, or town square, for pre-dinner aperitifs. The cafe had been “Puccified,” meaning its wickerwork had been enhanced with Pucci-print cushions and tablecloths.
At dinner, guests wore designs from the new collection – all kinds of original prints reworked, enlarged or reduced. And a new logo, two intertwined fish, which Ms Miceli described as a “no-brainer”. Many revelers grabbed Pucci terry beauty bags as handbags. Others wore the high-waisted pants trimmed with fringe. Model Cindy Bruna danced in a sand-colored lace-up miniskirt and geometric print crop top.
Rushing into the restaurant, sweet Mrs. Miceli was uninterested in the jet-set vibe of yesteryear.
“I wouldn’t use the term,” she said. “It’s a bit awkward now. It’s more about community and family. And while her collection doesn’t stray from Pucci’s resort DNA, Ms. Miceli has adjusted its relevance, tapping into a more inclusive tribe.
“Pucci is for people who share an appreciation for a certain type of lifestyle,” she said, referring to a new ensemble bound not by social status but by an appreciation not just for dancing on tables but also a meditation session.
Ms. Miceli had invited Arnaud Caby, her Iyengar yoga teacher in Paris, to lead two sessions on Friday morning. Most of the guests showed up in Pucci yoga pants, a mismatched patchwork of archival patterns.
“Who wants the front row? said one participant. “Courage,” said Mr. Caby, who put the prints to the test.
The leggings would prove to be the hardest-working garment in Ms. Miceli’s collection, called “La Grotta Azzurra”, for the Blue Grotto of Capri. Mathilde Favier, who manages celebrity clients at Christian Dior, wore her skinny stretch pants under a black lace Dior dress for dinner; Sabine Getty, jewelry designer and socialite, danced in hers; and pregnant British fashion influencer Susie Lau paired them with a puffy kaftan for a sleek boat outfit.
After yoga, Ms. Miceli hung out poolside at Quisisana, managing photo shoots and interviews. She had accessorized her leggings with a vintage Disney sweatshirt and a corno, or horn necklace, a traditional Neapolitan lucky charm, a gift from a Caprese Pucci salesman. Ms Miceli said she hoped the label would be embraced by both men and women.
“We need more Pucci for men,” said Gunna, an Atlanta rapper who serves as an ambassador for the label. He sat in the lobby in a mismatched silk Pucci shirt and hat with custom jeans and yellow Marni slides — and diamond lashings. The island had proved so inspiring that he set up a makeshift studio at the hotel.
“I’ve definitely found a new vacation spot,” he said. He was halfway through shooting a video for “Poochie Gown,” one of the tracks from his latest album, “DS4Ever.”
Guests heading out for lunch at the Bagni di Tiberio beach club were greeted by models perched on rocks on a pier in carefree incarnations of Pucci’s psychedelic archive prints.
Homer’s Ulysses referred to the coast of Capri as the realm of sirens, mythological beings who lured sailors to their deaths, and these appear as modern versions. In their high-waisted tasseled pants and silk tops, they had guests going on an Instagram frenzy.
Embarking for lunch was French decorator Jacques Grange; Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of fashion group LVMH, which owns Pucci, looking almost unrecognizable in a swirling turquoise Pucci jacket (“It’s on purpose,” he joked); and Yoyo Cao, an entrepreneur. Water taxis were adorned with the brand’s prints.
At the beach club, a cabaret-style display of the brand’s swimwear greeted them. Elie Top, jewelry designer, bathed in the turquoise sea before lunch. Mozzarella platters have almost reversed fashion. Between zucchini fritter courses, melanzane toast and Caprese salads, Gunna began an impromptu performance until the calls of “the risotto is ready” stopped her.
Mr Toledano said the scene reminded him of trips to Ibiza many years ago. “She didn’t need to present a big book,” he said of Ms. Miceli’s ideas for the first collection. “Camille likes to be free, but she listens.” He smiled.
“Our wardrobe, our way of thinking, our daily life has changed” because of the pandemic, Ms Miceli said. She remembers buying Pucci jersey dresses in the 1990s and liking that they didn’t crumple in a suitcase. It was this ease and versatility that showed up as the sun set over the Gulf of Naples.
In Anacapri, a low-key mountain village, guests wandered the cobbled streets of Villa Belsito, a private home where online retailer Mytheresa was helping organize the brand celebration.
Diego Della Valle, the president of Tod’s, went from his neighboring villa to meet up with friends. Later, a dance performance inspired by the work of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, featuring dancers dressed in Pucci, launched Ms. Miceli’s invitation to celebrate her Pucci family on the dance floor. Disco classics had guests up in seconds.
As in “The Great Beauty”, a film by Mr. Sorrentino which won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2014, it is not easy to face the past and foresee your future, but it will make you note.