Group photo of early Emilio Pucci hostesses uniforms for Braniff. Braniff Airways Collection, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections Department, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Italian designer Emilio Pucci and the world of fashion he belonged to and helped shape may seem to be a universe away from a simple southern college town and the state university that braces it. However, without the inspirations that were borne from his time at the University of Georgia, many of Pucci's pieces and his signature style may not have come to fruition.
The Georgia Museum of Art, in honor of this relationship between Pucci's design work and UGA, as well as the designer's 100th birthday, is hosting an exhibition curated by independent curator Mary Koon entitled "Emilio Pucci in America" from Oct. 18, 2014 until Feb. 1, 2015. It features collaborative pieces from Pucci's work with various American companies and institutions, from flight attendant uniforms commissioned by Texas-based Braniff Airlines to dresses sold at stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue to the patch he designed for NASA's Apollo XV lunar mission.
Pucci came to the United States in 1935 from Florence, Italy, at the behest of his father. He attended UGA for a year as an agriculture and horticulture student, which his father hoped would help with their agribusiness back home. He then transferred to Reed College in Portland, where he began his career in design by creating the uniforms for the school's skiing team. From there, he continued to develop his pieces, and many cite his affinity for American culture, industry, and atmosphere as one of the most influential forces shaping his ready-to-wear clothing.
The Georgia Museum of Art will be offering a number of events in connection to this exhibition. Koon will lead tours of the exhibition on Nov. 7 and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. The museum's Family Day on Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. until noon will offer the opportunity for children to create Pucci-style ornaments. The Pucci-themed after-party for "Elegant Salute," called "Get Your Pucci On," will take place on Jan. 31, 2015 and will have a fashion show put on by Agora Vintage and music provided by DJs Alfredo and Z-Dog.