Sleeveless mini dress with a plain round neck and full length centre back opening, fastening with 5 large self fabric-covered buttons. Print comprises a psychedelic design of swirls, splodges and geometric shapes in purple, greens and lilac. Seams at sides and yoke (front and back). Vertical pockets either side centre front, with flaps. Lined applie green silk. Hem subsequently shortened.
During the mid-1960s, it seemed that nothing could be more fashionable - or desirable - than youth. Designers and boutiques increasingly aimed their clothes at the young, slim and athletic, and many high street chain stores raced to follow suit, producing affordable versions of the latest "high fashion" styles for young people with limited incomes. This printed silk mini dress was designed by the Italian, Emilio Pucci, and shows a typically dramatic abstract print, so classic in the late 1960s and the 1970s. His shift dresses are now seen as works of art, akin to paintings, and seemingly infinite in their variety. A few examples are shown below: the first three dresses date from the later 1960s, and then the pink and green printed muslin suit is from the late 1970s and the blue and turquiose checked dress from the early 1980s. Each is typical of the imaginative printed fabrics commissioned by Pucci. While intended for a youthful market, Pucci's designs were expensively produced for a wealthy and elite clientele, including many or the 1960s/70s "A-list" celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. As a result, the market for imitation Pucci prints grew enormously and because of pirating, Pucci was eventually forced to identify his designs by incorporating his signature into the printed textiles, thus allowing clear registation of his prints. Even today, mock Pucci is fashionable and appears regularly in the high street chainstores.The last dress was sold by the high street retailer Wallis, and is a Pucci-esque copy, reminiscent of abstact art work or stained glass windows, but also derivative of the the colourful, geometric prints that had made Pucci famous.
© Manchester Art Gallery