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The Emilio Pucci’s Hostess Collection at the Osaka Expo ‘70

Marquise Emilio Pucci di Barsento, founder of the Maison based in Palazzo Pucci in via de’ Pucci, in the heart of Florence, was driven in his work as fashion designer by the desire to produce clothes that gave women the possibility to move freely, enjoying every activity they were up to.

Coming from a noble and influent family of Florence, he discovered his passion for fashion design in Zermatt, Switzerland, where he spent his time giving ski lessons, after a career as air force pilot during WW2. Trying to find a way to simplify movements during ski performances, in 1947 he designed a streamlined ski outfit, initially for himself and then for his learners and friends. The outfit was photographed by a fashion photographer and published on Harper’s Bazaar USA – and in this way Emilio Pucci came out on the fashion scene!

"Hostess" collection designed by Emilio Pucci for Expo '70 in Osaka. Uniforms for Braniff International. 1970. Courtesy of Emilio Pucci Archive. All rights reserved

With the aim to create a wardrobe for women made of weightless and more comfortable clothes, he started to collaborate with expert fabric manufacturers in Italy; he succesfully pioneered and patented revolutionary stretch fabrics that replaced the heavy and rigid fabrics that were commonly used at the time. The culmination of his work arrived in 1950s, when he began developing his peculiar style with signature prints. Graphic, abstract designs and geometric patterns inspired by cities and monuments were printed on his fabrics and used to create a very peculiar and original style. His modern sportswear design with an elegant allure, gained him the big international success and the title ‘Prince of Prints’.

"Hostess" collection designed by Emilio Pucci for Expo '70 in Osaka. Uniforms for Braniff International. 1970. Courtesy of Emilio Pucci Archive. All rights reserved

Following his will to design clothes that were at once functional and striking, in 1965 he happily started collaborating with Braniff International Airways to design the staff uniforms. The US major airway company Braniff Airways, Inc., part of Braniff International Airways, was up and running from 1930 to 1982, flying in the Midwest and the south-west of the US, Panama and, in its latest years, also in Asia and Europe.

Brightly colored and absolutely original, the Braniff uniforms created by Emilio Pucci, with their ‘futuristic’ appeal, were certainly innovative in the range of international uniform. Emilio Pucci was in charge of the uniforms of the company from 1965 to 1977, time in which he produced more than one iconic collection. 1970 was the year of Expo ‘70, a world’s fair held in Suita, Osaka, whose theme was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind”; at the time, Braniff International had already started to work with Asia. Emilio Pucci took the opportunity to participate to the event and presented the Braniff uniforms with a brand new design, showing simple shapes decorated with his peculiar prints. The result was utterly glamourous, thanks to the magnificent color mix and unique cut of the ensembles.

Discover more pictures of the “Hostess” Collection at the Osaka Expo on Europeana Fashion portal!

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