Pucci Me Up, Pucci Me Down, Pucci Lands In South Coast Plaza, Fashiontribes LA STORY in the OC! Blog

We love Pucci and the evolution of fashion has brought back the pop/mod vision in a true 21st century form. It’s evolved and  older lines have come back full force. Pucci is a line that has NEVER left the fashion scene but recently opened at store in Orange County’s South Coast Plaza, a shopping destination for everyone and anyone– making it the highest dollar per square foot mall in the country.

Lucky LA Story has friends in all the right places, and Christina Adams snapped up her invite to this event and was very happy to cover this party benefiting the Harvesters. The Harvesters is a group of committed women that support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, whose mission is to eliminate hunger in Orange County. Photos are courtesy of Doug Gifford!

Store Exterior

In the Seventies, I watched an older girl wearing an imitation Pucci-style dress and white boots belt out “Harper Valley PTA” at a school talent show. It was just before Easter, and I forced my meek, sweet mother to take me to stores until I found that exact peach-pink-abstract floral print in a dress of my very own. I begged for the boots but she would not allow her small daughter to rush around our Virginia lawn in white boots–“slutty” was not a word in our family vocabulary but even I realized they were…sexy. But I wore the dress at Easter, grinning like a rabbit in long white socks and white patent-leather shoes—a happy Baptist approximation of a jet-set look. God, it was one thrilling outfit. 

GLORIOUS PUCCI!!

At the recent celebration of the new Pucci boutique at luxury retail giant South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California (the shopping center does around a billion and a half in annual sales), models baring their smooth flesh in true Emilio Pucci glory (he was one of the first designers to dispense with girdles, linings and padding), demonstrated how the brand’s appeal has lasted for nearly 60 years (next year is the anniversary).

Store Interior

The Orange County store, the sixth freestanding store in the US (chosen over an LA site), was a pop jewel box of white walls, glowing blue lights and the joyously expected explosion of Pucci colors and prints in signature body-skimming dresses, calming slacks and thin elegant sweaters (thin is a key word when it comes to wearing Pucci—but anyone can sport the glorious scarves, purses and unique ball key chains-a mere $130 for one of those.

Store interior

Actually, I think everyone looks glowing and adorable in Pucci—the house’s colors and cuts are becoming to all beautiful women, which we are just because we put up with being women).

The Harvesters with Pucci US retail director Tim Crout

The Harvesters are a fundraising group  for The Second Harvest who benefited from the store’s opening were largely fit, wealthy women who manage to remain married, tend their families, and still raise huge chunks of money for local food banks.

Ambiance of the event

On this pre-Christmas night they were looking for cruise and resort wear, plus basics like “cocktail dresses, shirts and bikinis,” said pretty Maria Cooper. whose style sense is often influenced by Vogue, Elle and In Style magazines. She characterizes what Pucci US retail director Tim Crout defines as the perfect OC shopper: “very sensitive to editorial, like to see what’s out there, and a pragmatic shopper.”

Harvesters wearing Pucci dresses with Tim Crout.

Each location’s offering is unique, with the collection edited for every store’s identified shopper. In the OC, there are many different styles, thankfully, but our stereotypical looker is the ageless blonde girl with the big rock and the bigger purse–sort of a south-of-LA suburban starlet look. But many of the women who will shop here must transcend that to “get it”–the brand’s so historic. Then again, didn’t everyone who bought those cherub-image purses and stationary a few years ago know that they’d been originally painted by various genius Renaissance artists? 

models wearing PUCCI   

With new Brit designer Matthew Williamson having just gotten his first house collection out for fall/winter ’06, and actresses like Sienna Miller wearing the prints, the Pucci image is heating up. Lots of tonight’s local ladies like Pucci, which smartly reflects the store’s decision to wait for a spot in the mall’s luxury wing where they often shop, home to Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Dior and other top brands.

More Model shots

 
This Pucci renaissance is fitting considering where it began–in the mind of Italian nobleman Emilio Pucci, the creator of Capri pants, skiwear designer, wrinkle-free printed silk dresses, and or course the stunningly graphic prints that are “iconic,” says Crout. . Pucci may have died in 1992, but his sprit lives in every well-contemplated garment hanging here in this new millennium of a store. The melange is so Renaissance, and you don’t even need to travel to Florence (home of the Palazzo Pucci) or Capri, where his fashion house began in 1950. Although I did travel to Florence, on a honeymoon–which is always a good thing, despite the fact that the wooly bonds of marriage can increase your fashion buying power but still be a real style buzz-kill.


Pucci Store Staff

“The new collection is a mix of traditional and fashion-forward,” says Crout. Such a lovely example of this is a princess-cut coat, one of only 6 shipped to the US, made of light-mocha silk, angora and wool with red fox cuffs and collar and subtly shining gold buttons. The pastel lining is a surprisingly sweet yet very modern early print from the Pucci archives (size 6US/42 Euro, on sale for $4,056, previously $5, 070 and worth every I-feel-beautiful dollar).  It inspires a rap in me:

It sucks to be a “pragmatic shopper” and leave this one on the rack/ when it truly belongs on my back/but I’m a paid hack/not in the rich girl pack/that’s whack.

Christina and THE COAT!

O well, I got to wear that coat for ten minutes!! And it matched my hair, which I wear every day. Take that, world. Marilyn Monroe was buried in a light green Pucci dress, although she wore many Pucci separates, “mainly solids during her life,” says Adam Macias, a wonderful and handsome store salesman who coaxed me into the coat in the first place. There’s a photo of MM in Pucci’s house-distributed memoir, lying on her bed looking so supple and curvy–in Capri slacks and a button-front, straight-cut large print blouse. How cool is it to wear Pucci into eternity? What a cheery, dignified coda to her sad, men-and-substance-addled (are men a substance? Yes, now that I think about it) death. So it’s obvious to me now, that in the end, fashion is the answer to every problem.

The good thing is, a touch of Pucci can be had for only a couple hundred dollars—try the long fringed scarf/belt in a choice of prints and colors. So there’s no excuse for not paying homage to the master and brightening up your face and heart.

MORE Handbags

Pucci works on your sense of well-being like any well-made Italian man. They make you feel as if you’re drinking champagne all day, even when you aren’t. La Dolce Vita, they call it. Bring home a little piece of Pucci and wear it well, even if it isn’t Easter and you have no white sexy boots.  Hell, go buy the boots, you’re a woman now.

Christina Adams has written for The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and has been heard on NPR. She’s the author of the memoir, A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention and Recovery. Her website is www.christinaadamswriter.com. More importantly, she cherishes her three Pucci scarves.

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