Ex-Olympic skier Emilio Pucci started his design career making clothes for the slopes. That was the genesis of Peter Dundas' pre-collection for Pucci, with its core of sleek winter resortwear. "I like to do things that have that connection," said the designer. "It's a kind of legitimacy." But if the ski jackets in double-faced wool, the white fur-lined parka, and the seventies ski sweaters said Gstaad or Chamonix, the rest of the collection was all about mountains of a different kind: the shaggy, craggy ones in Central Asia and the equally shaggy nomads who live in them. The style of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and the rest—the ikats and embroideries, the quilting, the volumes, the fur—was absorbed by the rock gods and goddesses of the late sixties and early seventies, and it was from them that the collection drew its character. Janis Joplin was on the mood board, and her ghost inhabited a pink fake-fur coat made from real wool. An ethnic-patterned empire-waister spoke of Marianne Faithfull.
There's always been something of the Robert Plant/Viking archetype about Dundas himself. If this had been an actual live presentation, it would have been soundtracked by Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," the perfect aural complement to intricate, intensely toned tapestry and carpet patterns, or ikats embroidered for a 3-D effect, or the intarsia-ed mink. Given that level of luxe, Dundas wisely kept the silhouettes straightforward: a shirtdress, a tunic, some pieces that weren't much more than elongated Tshirt shapes, albeit lavishly decorated. That mink was made into a Nordic-patterned blouson.
Some of the eveningwear did eventually err toward the overtly ornate, but Dundas once again was best when he kept it simple—or as simple as a liquid column of gold sequins could possibly be. His Norwegian roots were showing when he said, "It's like a rich meal, it keeps you warm in winter."