At Peter Dundas' Pucci, Brigitte Bardot in her gypsy phase was out; Emilio Pucci and Vibeke Knudsen were in. Vibeke who? Knudsen's name may be less well known than Bardot's, but Helmut Newton's groundbreaking 1975 shot of the model in YSL's Le Smoking is permanently seared into the fashion consciousness. It's what Dundas tapped into for a fab collection that put the focus not only on men's tailoring but also on a newly covered-up silhouette.
Don't get us wrong, Dundas hasn't gone demure. A trio of little black dresses with chiffon-covered slashes set the tone. If there was less bare flesh on display, the collection was still plenty sexy—as a formfitting little number in crocodile with a slit up to there, and a T-shirt gown with a sheer back embroidered in crocodile velvet appliqués both suggest.
Tailoring, meanwhile, has always been part of the picture with Dundas, but here it was the star. Joan Smalls' white dinner jacket and beaded-neck black halter gown made for a modern way to do black tie—that look will be making the rounds on the fashion-party circuit. Ditto a sky blue version of the same tux worn with a sheer T-shirt; smartly cut high-waisted, cropped trousers; and a suede cummerbund. A nude patent peacoat and a beaver fur coat also get shout-outs for their sharp looks. He recruited the tailors who make his Pucci menswear to create this show's substantial coats. This was Dundas in peak form, and good timing, too. Too-obvious flashiness is on the wane elsewhere in Milan. Plus, a new Pucci store on Madison Avenue will be up and running by September, right about when these clothes start shipping.