Emilio Pucci Fall 2011 Review

Emilio Pucci Fall 2011 runway

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Pucci Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Emilio Pucci (See the full runway collection)
ACCESSORIES: Tyrol hats, 7-inch spiked-heel hiking boots, leather clutches scrolled with edelweiss embroidery
OVERALL TAKEAWAY: A Tinseltown treasure-trove of bedazzling gowns, with some decent tailoring thrown in too

Who is the Emilio Pucci woman? In Peter Dundas's imagination she can be anyone from a haute, chiffon-wrapped hippie in Crete to a slinky snake-hipped disco dolly in New York to, well, Empress Sissi of Austria. That 19th-century royal was the unlikely inspiration behind his Fall 2011 collection of bombshell cocktail dresses, silky evening dresses, and taut tailored blazers, alongside the Brothers Grimm and traditional Tyrolean costume.

What does all that spell? Well, Dundas is less concerned about spelling than spilling: breasts, that is, pouring out of tightly corseted tops that were cut straight across a balcony cleavage rather than delving to the waist. That was emblematic of a new, covered-up feeling at Pucci.

True, "covered up" may be the wrong words but with Dundas's past few collections exposing more skin than they concealed in slit-skirt, plunge-neck, and super-short gowns (often made out of lace, just to ensure there was nowhere for excess flesh to hide), this felt almost prim.

The day wear, or as close as Pucci gets to day, consisted of puff-sleeve jackets and A-line skirts, taking inspiration from the strict, constructed jackets of the mid-19th century and the tailored Loden of Alpine costume. Of course, they were just for show. People don't go to Pucci for workaday but for the hyper-decorated gowns that studded this precious little collection.

The question now is not if but when the jaw-dropping dresses end up on a red carpet.