THE ITALIAN PRINCE OF PRINTS | RENAISSANCE MAN EMILIO PUCCI

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Emilio Pucci is a name synonymous with incredibly chic prints that rocked runways, movie stars, and rich socialites alike during the ’60s & ’70s. (Sophia Loren and Jackie Onassis were among the many fashionable tastemakers to follow him — and Marilyn Monroe was even buried in a Puci dress.) His look was so signature in its modern, graphic designs and rich colorations that you could literally spot a Pucci a mile away. Emilio Pucci’s look became iconic, and lives on as an ever-present influence in womenswear today.

His design talent notwithstanding– I’ve always found Pucci’s personal story even more colorful than his designs. Born with noble blood, the young Pucci enjoyed a life of academic excellence (earning his Master’s degree Social Science from Reed College in Oregon, along with his Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Milan), civil service (Pucci rose to the ranks of Captain and served as a torpedo bomber pilot in the Italian Army during WWII, he even befriended Mussolini’s daughter and aided her escape from Hitler’s vengeful grasp), and was an accomplished athlete who was on Italy’s Olympic Ski team. It was his love of skiing that first led him to design outfits for his team at Reed college. In 1948, while on a trip to Switzerland, Pucci’s striking ski designs this time caught the eye of a Harper’s Bazaar photographer, and set his career as a fashion designer in motion. Stanley Marcus was an early supporter of Pucci’s and was instrumental in establishing him in the US. The rest, as they say, is history.

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1959, Florence, Italy — The legendary fashion designer, Emilio Pucci, with examples of his work. — Image by © David Lees/Corbis

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1959, Capri, Italy  – The Florentine fashion designer, Emilio Pucci, lunching with his wife Christina. Pucci once had the guitarist who is serenading them flown to London to lend authentic Italian atmosphere to a show. I love this picture. — Image by © David Lees/Corbis

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STYLE FROM THE CITY OF ANGELS | THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF SCOTT POMMIER

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Scott Pommier is someone I really dig as an artist– and for just being a cool, unassuming guy.  His sense of humor is understated and dry, true to Canadian form– yet there’s an intensity to him when he shoots where you just stand back and watch a master in his element do his thang with laser-like focus.

Pommier shoots a lot of bike related images that he’s become especially known for (Scott himself has three H-D’s), but the guy is also one badass fashion photographer.

Case in point–

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Photograph by © Scott Pommier

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Photograph by © Scott Pommier

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OLD SCHOOL STYLE ON THE SLOPES | JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY

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From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–

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Circa 1946 — (original caption) Hollywood Stars Ski at Sun Valley.  Active sports are the best things in the world to relax one after a session before the Kleig lights, and these Hollywood stars chose skiing as their sport. Shown on a crest at the famed resort at Sun Valley, Idaho are, left to right: Mrs. Gary Cooper, Jack Hemingway, Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper and Clark Gable. Used by the Navy during the war, the resort will be opened to the public in the fall of 1946. — Image by © Bettmann

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With the snowfall upon us (and where I live, it will be falling until late April) it gives me a chance to induldge in my obsession with old school style on the slopes.  I want to be clear that I will not include snowboarding in this post– different sport, different style altogether.  I also want to be clear that this obession of mine is very rooted in the years 1967-1977, when I feel ski style was at its height.  I’ll get many an argument from all the Polo alumni that read TSY that the Sun Valley/Gary Cooper 1930s & ’40s look (above) is the ultimate; and while the snowflake sweaters, melton wool jackets, gentsy trousers (with zippered pockets to keep out the snow), and waffle stompers of that era certainly do have their appeal– I am more fixated with vintage Fila, Bogner, Descente, Addidas (very rare), Rossingnol, and Head.  Courreges did some skiwear in the 1960s for women that is highly prized by vintage heads the world over.  I have combed many a vintage store in Europe looking for an old school graphic Fila or Bogner coat in all its pieced, color blocked, and technicolor splendour so I could work it like a skier on the pro tour, circa 1968.  Who wouldn’t want to rock the, “just hit the mountain in Gstaad, heading to Chamonix, and then off to Aspen to wind down the season” look.

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Circa 1968 — Aspen, Colorado: French skier, Jean Claude Killy manages a smile for his fans after placing 3rd in the Roch Cup men’s downhill event here, March 15th. Killy’s legion of fans can be seen reflected in his sunglasses. — Image by © Bettmann

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Without a doubt, my obsession was fueled by Jean Claude Killy, the King of the slopes and one of the most stylish athletes of all time.  A world champion skier without peer– In 1966–67 Killy won every downhill race he entered, earning the first World Cup for men.  Killy also won the triple crown of Alpine skiing– capturing all three golds medals (downhill, slalom, and giant slalom) at the ’68 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France .  He was blessed with movie star looks, and came on to the scene when more obscure sports like sking acually got Saturday afternoon airtime, and the Olympics still tended to be a top two sports draw on TV.  Killy had ridiculous style and even more ridiculous skill.  He was, and is, how I want to look on the slopes– slim silhouettes,  graphic colors boldly streaking by on the turn, and geared towards peak performance.   Killy is one of those athletes I will always associate with the epic ABC Wide World of Sports.  I’m not sure how Jim McKay and Howard Cosell did it, but they mythologized athletes, especially international athletes, on the level of jet-setting movie stars.  I miss those dreamy days of my youth.  I miss how the lifestyles of the athletes of old had real class, and were larger than life.  Mostly, I miss their character, and how incredible they looked in competition– and everyday life.  They inspired me then,  and still do to this day.

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August 1971 — French Skier Jean-Claude Killy in Saint-Tropez — Image by © Apis/Sygma

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Too Much Girl On Guy Action For My Taste | Will The Real Men Please Stand Up?

 

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Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I am so over the whole skinny jean, silly scarf, everything super-tight & femme look.  I for one, have never succumbed to wearing one of those gauzy chick scarves, and it goes without saying that I’ll never even consider wearing women’s jeans– especially if some so-called “rock hipsters” say they fit better.  Dude, what fit are you going for– “tweener at the mall” fit?  Seriously– grow a set, get a tailor and stay out of the Junior’s department.  

I’m so bad, I even have a hard time with wearing clothes by women designers. Yeah, I’m old school, but my admittedly rigid train of thought is as follows–

generally speaking, a guy inherently knows guy’s stuff better than women do.  

Like I’d rather have a guy cut my hair than a girl, but it works conversely too– I’d rather have a woman help me if I’m shopping for my wife.  I know the world is more sophisticated than that, but that’s just how I roll– and honestly, it has served me pretty well.

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