August 22 2014

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30 posts tagged "Peter Dundas"

“I Get in Trouble in Front of Renaissance Palazzos”: Pucci’s Peter Dundas on Why He Loves Florence


Peter Dundas

Peter Dundas is a Renaissance man. Literally. Since 2002, the Norwegian-born designer has split his time between Paris and Florence—the Italian metropolis that is both the birthplace of the Renaissance and the hometown of Pucci, where Dundas has served as creative director for the past six years. Last week, during Pitti Uomo, Dundas invited the fashion set to an appropriately over-the-top bash at the famed Palazzo Pucci, the family’s home and headquarters in the center of Firenze. The party served to celebrate the brand’s Florentine roots, as well as an unprecedented art installation, in which Piazza del Duomo’s historic Battistero was, as Dundas put it, “dressed” in more than 20,000 square meters of Pucci-printed canvas.

But as Dundas explained at a bustling café the following morning, his relationship with Florence spans far beyond his Pucci gig. “I love the weather, I love the light, and I love the food,” said the designer, brushing his golden mop of curls out of his face. While sipping on a Coke, Dundas, who looked like a cross between a Norse god and a Michelangelo in his fitted white jeans, unbuttoned denim shirt, and snakeskin shoes, spoke to about licorice gelato, his “terribly boring wardrobe,” and getting into trouble.

What were your impressions when you first moved to Florence? Were you excited to be in this Renaissance wonderland, or disappointed to be spending so much time away from Paris?
I was very excited to come here. I knew Florence quite a bit because all of the houses I worked for previously had some connection with Italy. But of course the first impression of Florence is overwhelming. It’s so permeated by Renaissance history. Anything less than 500 years old is seen as tacky, so coming here was quite impressive. I actually based my first collection on the idea of Palazzo Pucci—the girl in her own habitat. It became a motif and a concept that carried over to the show space and the showrooms and the shops as well. Updated versions of the palazzo elements and Florence itself continue to influence me. I work in a Renaissance palazzo, I live in a Renaissance palazzo, I hang out in cafés in front of a palazzo, and I get in trouble in front of Renaissance palazzos—as I hope [the original Florentines] did.

Do you get into trouble often?
It does happen a little bit more than I’d like it to.

You mentioned that Florence’s Renaissance art and architecture continue to inspire you, but your clothes are very modern. How do you work in these influences specifically?
Florence is kind of this backdrop that my girl inhabits. It’s a counterpoint to who she is. In my mind, the dresses that I do are just T-shirts—gilded T-shirts, but T-shirts nonetheless. So it makes sense for me to both complement and contrast this environment.

Did you already speak Italian when you moved to Florence, or did you have to learn?
I’m Norwegian, and even in Norway, you have a problem speaking Norwegian. We don’t make enough babies [to sustain the language], not that I don’t try. Speaking Italian for me is natural. I left home when I was 14, and I’ve been living all over the place. And it’s a Latin language, so going from French to Italian is easy.

You worked for a handful of French brands—Lacroix and Gaultier among them—before becoming Pucci’s creative director. What are the differences between French and Italian houses?
As far as aesthetic goes, the Italians are more impulsive and less afraid of mixing colors and patterns and embellishments and embroideries. Italian fashion is more about pleasure for the eyes, whereas there’s more of a cerebral process to the French way of dressing. But the French have marked me, and what I do today is a collective continuity of what I’ve always done. So there’s a bit of la Parisienne in what I do because I do love her profoundly. And I love the wit of the English girl and the Italian dolce vita all wrapped into one. It’s good to have layers.

What about your personal aesthetic? Do you dress differently here than you do in Paris or London?
No, I don’t. I have a terribly boring wardrobe. I always dress the same.

That’s funny, working for a house like Pucci.
I have my uniform. I’m always in white jeans. I suppose in London, I think twice about what I wear, and in Paris you don’t want to wear bad shoes. But I’m not quite sure about my look.

Looks pretty good to me. Are there any Florentine monuments that still strike you when you see them?
The first time you see Michelangelo’s David, it makes a very strong impression. I think the Ponte Vecchio does as well. But I have lots of places in Florence that I absolutely love. I love water, so I love the river. I work out in a rowing club that’s on the river. It has a great café. I don’t actually row out on the water—two years down the line, I still haven’t had time to learn—so I just work out there. I refuse propositions for rowing every week from my friends. I just don’t have the time. I guess team sports aren’t that compatible with fashion.

Do you get lonely?
No, I don’t. I like solitude.


What’s your idea of the perfect day in Florence?
Well, if I have a day off in Florence, I usually end up at the Four Seasons by the pool with friends. They have this amazing beach garden, and it’s fun to have drinks and hang around the pool and get a massage. Harry’s Bar on the river is, like, 50 feet from my house, so I’m there a lot. And Cammillo [on Borgo San Jacopo] is my Sunday restaurant. All the Florentine families go there for dinner when their help is off for the day. It’s one of my favorite places because it’s so authentic.

So what’s your favorite thing to eat here? What must I order before I leave?
Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. It’s simple—just spaghetti with garlic, pepper, and olive oil—but it’s amazing. Especially if you can get the olive oil in November, when the olives have just been pressed. It tastes almost spicy and it has this absinthe green-colored tint. The problem is once you enjoy Italian food here, you don’t want to eat it anywhere else. Mozzarella doesn’t travel well. Oh, and the truffles, with pasta, they’re incredible. And if you’re here in Florence, you have to eat ice cream. Gelato is from here. When Catherine de Médicis wasn’t busy making poisons, she actually invented ice cream, so you have to go at night and eat some. My favorite is licorice. I think I’m the only person in the world who likes that flavor, which is great, because they never run out.

I have to say, I’m in love with Florence, but the swarms of tourists are a little overwhelming. Is there anywhere you go to hide from the hustle and bustle?
My place. I have a really nice flat. I live in a palazzo down by the river. I have this amazing terrace on the top floor where only the priests at Il Duomo can see me.

Hopefully they haven’t seen anything too scandalous.
Well, you know. I haven’t had any complaints yet.

Speaking of Il Duomo, what’s been the reaction to the Pucci installation?
It’s been amazing. I love the contrast of taking something very traditional and institutional and then doing something completely modern. That’s a bit what my work is—being in Florence and being in the Palazzo Pucci. You know, dressing the Battistero at the Piazza del Duomo in a contemporary design with contemporary colors just looks so amazing. It’s a really healthy thing to see in Florence, too, because usually anything new is designed to blend in with the traditional architecture, whereas this installation completely broke things up. It’s amazing to see how energizing that can be. I think it’s very healthy for the city and for Florence to open its mind to that.

Photos: Instagram; Courtesy of Pucci

Shop the Look: Blush Tones


STL blush

One of our favorite trends for Fall ’14 is unexpected, clashing colors. Take Miuccia Prada, for instance, who convinced us to rethink primary hues, and Joseph Altuzarra, who expertly paired fuchsia with army green. Narciso Rodriguez employed pops of sunset orange, and at Emilio Pucci, Peter Dundas took a risk with canary yellow. We’ll definitely incorporate some of those brights into our cold-weather wardrobes, but why not jump on the trend now? For spring, we suggest trying one of Raf Simons’ winning combos at Dior: cotton-candy pink and fire-engine red. Traditionally reserved for Valentine’s Day, varying shades of pink and red (from ultra-pale to neon) look fresh, modern, and delightfully out of the ordinary. Shop our favorite blush-hued pieces from Stella McCartney, Topshop, Carven, and more, below.

1. Topshop knitted rib textured jumper, $76, available at

2. Wildfox Kitten 56-mm sunglasses, $179, available at

3. Stella McCartney Jodie floral-jacquard miniskirt, $628, available at

4. Frasier Sterling distressed wood bracelets with multicolor tassels, $80 for three, available at

5. Carven coral suede ankle strap bow pumps, $590, available at

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Insta-Gratification: #MFW Edition


In the age of Instagram, all it takes is a smartphone to achieve a photo finish, be it filtered or #nofilter-ed. That’s why’s social media editor, Rachel Walgrove, is rounding up our favorite snaps and bringing them into focus. For this very special edition of Insta-Gratification, she’ll be calling out the best shots from #MFW. See below for today’s picks.

Monday, February 24

Giorgio and his Armani army.

Collect them all.

Marni, through Linda Fargo’s lens.

Missoni’s pre-show clique.

The finale bow. Squared. Continue Reading “Insta-Gratification: #MFW Edition” »

Keep Your Eye on’s 2013 Look of the Year Winner, Sara Nicole Rossetto


Sara RossettoSara Nicole Rossetto is proof that you don’t need to be famous or have an expensive wardrobe to become a street-style star. The 20-year-old Italian communications student was snapped by Tommy Ton during the Spring ’14 shows in Milan wearing a crisp white button-up, gold Zara skirt, and Miu Miu shoes. Her image earned the most votes—she beat out paparazzi fixtures including Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Giovanna Battaglia, and more—in’s 2013 Look of the Year poll. Of course, Rossetto’s model-good looks helped. Playing volleyball on the national level, her tall, thin physique recently landed her a spot on IMG’s local “development” board. While her dream is to work in fashion advertising, Rossetto wants to do more runway and editorial first, and loves dressing up for street-style photographers. Here, talks to Rossetto about her personal style, modeling career, and winning Look of the Year.

Congratulations on winning our Look of the Year poll.
I’m really happy about it! Everybody else was so famous, and I’m a nobody compared with them. I didn’t hear about the poll because I was vacationing in Switzerland for New Year’s and didn’t have any Wi-Fi, so it was a terrific surprise to learn that I’d won.

I have to admit that I didn’t know who you were before researching this picture. You do some modeling?
I am a model, but nobody knows me yet—I’m still “development.” Last year I started doing some modeling in Milan. I’ve always played volleyball and am quite tall and thin, so everybody told me I should try to do something in fashion, which has always been my passion. After high school, I sent some photos to IMG and they told me that I could go and visit them, and I actually signed with them! I’ve done a little runway and would love to go to London and New York. The thing is that I’m really Mediterranean-looking, and in Italy and Milan, that’s not so wonderful because they like blond hair and blues eyes, and I look Sicilian or Arab…

What are you studying at university?
I’m studying media and advertising. My ambition is to do a course in fashion communications, and then hopefully work in fashion advertising. They told me that it’s a hard industry, but I think I can manage that, and maybe modeling will help.

So you go to shows during Milan fashion week?
I really love going to the shows. A couple months before, I look for tickets. My dad used to do loads for shows, so he helped, and I’ve had the opportunity to see Emilio Pucci, Max Mara, Dolce & Gabbana…my favorite show last season was Pucci.

Who are some of your favorite designers? And how would you describe your personal style?
I love Miuccia Prada and the Valentino designers because of their elegance. Personally, I like to be quite simple when I get dressed up, and Valentino is sober but always elegant. Pucci isn’t quite my style because I’m quite sporty, but Peter Dundas knows how to make a woman look sexy, and the colors are amazing for the summer.

Do you dress differently for fashion week?
While I love fashion, I’m not trying to show off when I get dressed for university, so I usually keep it sporty in white T-shirts and jeans. During fashion week, I work on preparing my outfits and wear the clothes I like the most then—I’m already thinking about what I’ll wear next month. What I wouldn’t wear on a normal day I can wear to the shows. I love street-style photographers because they make me feel so important when they ask me, “Can I take your photo?” I’m not the kind of person who would say, “No.” But I don’t actually spend too much on what I wear. I mix Zara—my absolute favorite—with nice accessories.

Who are some of your style icons?
I like the simplicity of Audrey Hepburn and think Ulyana Sergeenko is so elegant—I love her couture line. The Russians are popular, and I like Elena Perminova as well because she’s tall like me, and Karlie Kloss, too.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Buckling Up for Thanksgiving and Beyond


BeltsNew It bags and It shoes regularly enter the fashion orbit, but this season’s unexpected must-have accessory is the humble—or not so humble—belt. Back in September, we clocked Céline’s Thanksgiving-appropriate pilgrim buckle on Anna Dello Russo, Giovanna Battaglia, and Elina Halimi, and noticed plenty of statement-making cinching on the Spring runways, too. Michael Kors, Haider Ackermann, and Tom Ford created a wasp-waist silhouette with classic men’s leather belts, while other designers assumed a more-is-more approach. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz featured sweet cummerbunds decorated with bedazzled hearts; Peter Dundas sent out medallion-spangled bands worthy of a boxing champion at Emilio Pucci; and Vera Wang was snapped wearing an ultrawide style that swallowed up her entire torso.

Here, just in time for Thanksgiving viewing, a slide show of our favorite waist-cinchers.