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FALL 2020 READY-TO-WEAR Emilio Pucci

Anybody who says that Emilio Pucci and Christelle Kocher of Koché are an unlikely pairing doesn’t know either brand very well. Yes, Pucci was an Italian aristocrat who put the 1960s jet set in swirling geometric prints, and sure, Kocher has made it her mission to represent “the people’s Paris” in her street-casted shows. But there’s more to both names than those top-line details. Sport is the common ground they share.

Emilio Pucci was thinking innovatively about fabric and comfort at a time when Dior’s New Look was still reverberating through fashion. Kocher has made elevating sportswear—rugbies, polo shirts, tracksuits, etc.—with couture-like workmanship and accoutrements her design signature. Stretch jersey was his thing, and soccer jerseys patchworked with lace are hers.

Synergies aside, Kocher knows she was brought in for this one-off collaboration by LVMH, Pucci’s corporate owners, to “shake it up a bit.” And so a pair of stands giving away Koché x Emilio Pucci T-shirts were positioned at the entrance of the beautifully decrepit church that acted as today’s show venue, and an installation of fluorescent lights formed the centerpiece of the runway. Palazzo Pucci it was not.

The clothes were a lively mix of both brands’ aesthetics: graphic and bold and, yes, sporty, but with the bourgeois polish of the legacy house replaced by the edgier sensibility of the upstart one. Hoodies and boxer shorts and printed denim were all unusual sightings here. More surprising were the looks that incorporated printed feathers, a first-of-its-kind effect created by Lemarié, the Paris plumassier where Kocher moonlights. This project will have benefits for both labels. It elevates Koché’s profile, and it revives Pucci’s, which has been marching in place without a creative director for years. Backstage, Kocher pointed out that Pucci’s famous prints were his effort to reproduce the landscape patterns he saw from the cockpit of airplanes. Pucci was also a pilot. Who knew? Now, thanks to Kocher, you do.

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