Peter Dundas, creative director for Emilio Pucci, is perhaps the Midwest’s and Indiana’s strongest current link to Italian fashion. The Norwegian born designer moved to Indiana with his family when he was 14, an admittedly impressionable age, and now the young phenom is at the top of the modern jet set, calling Milan home but constantly experiencing places all over the world. So, when trends are pointing toward 70s and Bohemian vibes do you think we might find much of a Midwestern influence?

No, not really. In fact, I always find it interesting when a young designer takes on looks and styles that were popular before he/she was even born. Will they attempt to mimic the original or will they simply utilize a few elements with their own design? Dundas does a little of both.

In this season that seems dead set on taking us all back to about 1972 (you’ll notice the designers all avoid the disco era from the latter part of that decade), we’ve seen a number of various riffs on bohemian looks, especially those with bright colors and loose, flowing dresses. Dundas certainly gets in his fair share of those, but then he takes it a step further: he actually does tie-dyed dresses. Not kidding. I would have thought we’d see them before now, but others have just gone with gradient prints rather than going to the trouble and unpredictability of actually doing tie-dye. Leave it to the youngsters to show us how its done.

Dundas gets some other things historically accurate as well. His florals are both printed and embroidered. The specific shade of golden rod orange he uses is so spot on as to make me shudder at the memories. He also was smart enough to know that, midst all those loose, flowing dresses, pants and jumpers from that period tended to be incredibly fitted with an emphasis on the hips. Could “booty” wear be any more perfectly timed for popular culture?

Looks are reasonably updated with lighter fabrics, including some very luxurious knits, and the accessories are  a perfect blend of vintage and modern. There aren’t a large number of bags, but the ones he includes are very similar designs, especially with fringe and large gromets. His knee-high leather boots would make Nancy Sinatra proud.

With all the 70s looks we’ve seen this season, and especially here in Milan where almost everyone has dipped at least a toe into the vintage water,  one hates to see yet another collection so heavily influenced by the same era. Yet, Peter Dundas fills in some important style gaps that everyone else seems to have left out and he does so with great wonder and aplomb. I don’t know that Indiana can take any real credit for that influence, but we’ll happily pretend he got it from us.

Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier

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