Sometimes, when quiet days come after a super busy week, I love to browse the books I collect in my boutique in Florence. You know, decorating with books it’s always a glamorous way to install colorful shelves and to create a cozy atmosphere. Sometimes it’s also interesting to read them! The pleasure to discover new themes, authors, notions it’s always well worth the effort to open dusty pages.
That’s what I found a couple of days ago: an old book about costume history (my favorite subject of course) full of glossy images, from the Egyptians to 1960′s revolutionary style. The funniest thing was to discover that the 1960′s were considered modern times, in fact the book was published in 1965 and that very book was the most important publication of its genre for that time.
How do I know it? The preface was written by the world-famous fashion designer Emilio Pucci.
During the 60′s Emilio Pucci created several abstract patterns, which he used to decorate every surface he used in his own collections. Pucci was an aristocratic Florentine gentleman, who decided to sketch with vibrant colors the landscape he was able to see during the flights with his airplane. Such a romantic way to share with people the feelings, the atmospheres and the moods that the world was suggesting him.
Emilio Pucci was a modern thinker and he proved it writing the preface of “La moda nei Secoli” published by Mondadori in 1965.
I want to share his thoughts about his modern vision of fashion, paying attention about his words, so direct, so true and so contemporary.
“The television, the uncountable newspapers with glossy and black and white pictures, the gorgeous shop-windows of modern boutiques, the brand new fast ways for travelling: all these innovations make people able to visually know what the industrial progress is producing in this moment. Especially people can spot what the fashion industry is creating.
The visual knowledge makes people able to judge based on two factors: shape and color.”
The possibility of judging fashion is a key factor to make fashion more common among the population. To feel part of the fashion system, just by reading a newspaper or watching fashion-shows on television, it’s really rewarding. To not be part at all could be considered very frustrating. The world was turning social, but could Emilio Pucci only imagine how deep this change could turn out to be?
“In this situation the idea of Fashion has to find its limits, an idea, which is going to be more and more important in our social life. In the past, only a few people were interested in fashion. Over the years, the idea of fashion has become more and more popular. The interest in fashion was first only for the elite, but now it’s a general need, not only for clothes, also for a new expression of contemporary life, from architecture to furniture, from cars to fridges.”
He wasn’t talking about fashion, he was talking about style!
“The wish of every person makes possible a democratization, which can raise the humbles to a high level, instead of an equalization to a lower level of the social elite.
Fashion is the most important factor in social life nowadays, not only because it connects individuals from one to another, but also because it approaches worldwide populations.
I dared to say that and it might be considered exaggerated, but I experimented it myself after showing my collections in Austria, America, Cuba, Canada, Greece, Japan, Uruguay and Soviet Union.
Probably I’m the most qualified person, due to this international experience, to collect the new feelings about the fashion phenomenon and how foreign populations react to it.
This experience makes me value fashion as one of the principal elements that can provide connection and tolerance all over the world.”
Fashion was going to be a new sort of language, which didn’t need any translation: the avant-garde ideas of Pucci weren’t so distant from our idea of fashion now.
Isn’t fashion a language universally understood through internet?
Obviously Emilio Pucci valued the newspapers and the television as much as we value social networks now, as the fastest way to connect people. But what thrills me the most is the word tolerance connected to fashion: a peaceful and optimistic vision of it, capable of restoring people’s struggles.
I know it’s a little bit naïf, but thinking about fashion as a cure, it’s very poetic.
“This book is really interesting - he’s writing about La moda nei secoli - and we felt the need of its accurate descriptions and researches. The book is essential for those in love with the fashion factor; it’s a journey through times, an excursus of the aesthetic history.
It’s a book for those who see in today’s clothes the spirit of past achievements; for young people, searching for the new, who can discover the new finds of the old “young generations” animated by the same needs for innovation, centuries ago.“
My final thoughts
I loved reading this preface, feeling the enthusiasm of this innovative designer for young designers as well, who are reminded of studying with curiosity fashion history, not just as facts trapped in forgotten time, but as a result of what we are now, how we act and how we dress. That’s the key to be an imaginative designer as Emilio Pucci was. So enjoy studying!