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FASHION | King of Prints: PUCCI

Where the Pucciphiles Will Be

September 04, 1997

Emilio Pucci first caught the public's eye in the mid-1940s, when he was photographed wearing ski pants of his own design. He became famous as a sportswear designer, known for making patterned dresses out of brilliantly colored silk scarves that a stylish cult of women wore throughout the '60s and '70s. Although he died five years ago, his following continues to grow, and his designs have achieved the status of classics.

More than 260 Pucci items will be presented at a preview party at Wasteland, 7428 Melrose Ave., from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 10. The vintage fashion store acquired the collection from Shirley Kennedy, a fashion reporter and editor who began collecting Pucci in 1987, while she was earning a degree in fashion and human behavior in New York. Her master's thesis on Pucci was published as a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, "Pucci--A Renaissance in Fashion," is still the definitive text on the designer. Though now out of print, the book is highly prized by Pucci aficionados.

Towels, men's ties, handbags, perfume bottles and a variety of clothes priced from $150 to $950 will be included in the sale.

Costume designers are among the buyers expected at the Wasteland sale, since choice Puccis turn up regularly on screen. Sharon Stone wore Pucci memorably in "Casino," providing the perfect visual explanation for why the dramatic designs have been so enduring.

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