I watched the Emilio Pucci show from Ponte Vecchio

Diary of a fashion student in Florence who saw the Pucci Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection from a distance. Will the day of the front row come? 


by Elsa Hawkes and Giulia Piceni. Cover image by Alessandro Corradini for I’M Firenze Digest.

In the fashion world, one event is more important than a trophy: the fashion show. Once you have an invitation, you can say you’ve made it in the business. For many aspiring fashion insiders, it is the ultimate goal to reach in life. In the meantime, as fashion and art students, it’s big enough of a deal when you can see these events from a distance. Camille Miceli, the artistic director of Pucci, knows how to attract the eye. For her first Pucci fashion show, the Parisian Miceli chose Florence as a venue. On May 4, Emilio Pucci performed their Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection alongside the Arno River in the city’s heart. Filled with beautiful bright colours and tight catsuits, Pucci kept their crowds entertained. It was the perfect modern contrast to the old Ponte Vecchio and the stunning sight of the Arno River. With all the excitement coming from this extraordinary experience, this is a report of my point of view as a fashion student admiring the runway from Ponte Vecchio.


As a student, I could peer over the wall of the Ponte Vecchio and sneak a peek at the Emilio Pucci show from afar. Security was understandably relentless, as they were guarding something precious: luxury items of a designer brand based in Florence, the same city I have been living in as a student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Studying fashion in Florence, I tend to learn more about fashion history, culture, and art. Where you live and what you see tends to be what you learn. In more modern and industrial cities such as Milan and New York, some might say there are greater chances of crucial connections and meeting with big names.

Photo: Daniele Oberrauch/Gorunway.com. Courtesy of Pucci.

On the other hand, Florence is home to beauty. It is home to Emilio Pucci. It gathers artists and creative thinkers into one walkable village and teaches them how to admire the beauty of history.


During the show, Pucci aimed for a more traditional approach to the runway. They focused on garments, objectively highlighting psychedelic prints and digital colours. The brand hoped to go back to its roots, as this was Camille Miceli’s first runway as the artistic director at Emilio Pucci.

The catwalk took place at Canottieri di Firenze, a top-rated rowing association in Florence. Although the show was in the heart of Florence, with much public attention, it was still separated from the general pedestrian traffic as it occurred in a more bourgeois and private spot. The show featured a striking, eye-catching palette. There were iridescent and translucent fabrics and swirling, archival prints of Miceli on the jersey catsuits. The garments were bathed in the golden light of dawn, creating the perfect, peaceful setting for the modern show.


A good section of the audience attempting to watch the show from afar consisted of students. Their eyes were wide, trying to take in as much information as possible while taking a mental picture of the garments on display and the beautiful scenery around them. Diving into the Arno River and swimming to the show seemed more than appealing. 

Photo: Daniele Oberrauch/Gorunway.com. Courtesy of Pucci.

The beat of the show’s music echoed off the sides of the walls at the Canottieri. As it reached the public, it was slightly out of tune, creating a greater separation between those invited and the regular pedestrians and students gathering to take a peek.


The ending of the runway show almost looked like a public celebration, a joyful pop-up museum launching new creations into the world. Squinting at the models strutting in their many catsuits, gold-chained body jewellery, and the Emilio Pucci pesce motifs, I could barely make out the garments or the show.

It was a wonderful event in Florence, oozing the soul of creation, art, and innovation; the perfect city to host an open-air catwalk lit by the golden rays of the setting sun.

Elsa Hawkes is a Fashion Styling Undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Giulia Piceni is an Arts Curating Undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

You might be interested in…