Perhaps it’s a sign of the times we live in but everywhere we’ve been in recent times, at least one or two historic monuments have been covered in scaffolding or tarp. I know, I know. It’s necessary especially when it involves restoration work on historic monuments. But it can be quite frustrating. Florence, during our last visit, wasn’t an exception. The Baptistry of St. John is currently undergoing some work and is all covered up. But unlike the usually tarp and wood, the Baptistry is covered in the signature print and color of the House of Pucci. They are sponsoring the work behind the Baptistry. And because it is Pucci, it is extremely striking!
The House of Pucci,now synonymous with fashion and vibrant colors and prints, is actually a very old and noble Florentine house. Their family Palazzo which also serves as the company’s headquarters in Via de Pucci in Florence, has the rare distinction of being occupied by the same family since its construction in the 16th century.
Emilio Pucci, put the house on the fashion map when he started designing sky wear in the late 40s. His colorful and exuberant patterns caught the eye of many of the fashion cognoscenti. Emilio’s designs and colors are still in use by the current designer of the label. While in Florence, I had the chance to meet one of their in-house artists who works on the scarves. It was a fascinating conversation.
She explained that every design begins with a mood board such as the one you see in the background of the picture below. All the colors they use in current designs are still those originally conceived by Emilio in the 40s. And while they now use machines to produce their scarves, extreme care is taken to ensure that their colors are exactly the same as the original hues.
After coming up with a mood board, each design is painstakingly drawn and hand-colored before it is turned over to the silk printers. Here she is at work on the limited edition scarves that have the same design as that covering the Baptistry of the St. John.
Here is a view of the scarves up close…These commemorative scarves are beautiful, like mini-works of art themselves with their jewel hues. To make them even more special, they are only available in the Pucci store in Florence.
I love learning about other people’s creative process and so it was quite a treat to catch a glimpse of one part of the working process of one of fashion’s most iconic labels. Read more on our Florentine adventure in this post.