What's New at McDermott Library?
Fall 2011
Unique Pucci book features Special Collections Images

McDermott Library Special Collections is the proud recipient of a new unique book that explores the world of Florentine Italian fashion designer and politician Emilio Pucci, Marchese di Barsento (1914-1992).

Known for his geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colors, Pucci designed some of the flarey flight attendant outfits for Braniff International Airlines during the 1960s and 70s. The History of Aviation Collection features the Braniff Collection of public relations materials that include images of Pucci creations.

Rain Dome
The short-lived 1965 "Rain Dome" also known as the "bubble helmet" was supposed to protect flight attendant hairdos but it proved to be impractical leaving its only value in the publicity it generated.

The heavily-illustrated book, Emilio: Pucci Fashion Story, features seven images from the UT Dallas collection showing flight attendants in the early 1970s.

Each copy in the limited edition of 10,000 copies is uniquely bound with one of a selection of recent fabrics from the Pucci collection. Pucci was hired by Braniff in 1965 to update its image. He designed seven complete outfits for the Braniff hostesses, pilots and ground crew from 1965-1977. In 1968 Barbie doll accessories featured versions of his first four uniforms. There were turtlenecks, t-shirts, crop jackets and culottes. Among the most unusual was his first design, the "bubble helmet," that consisted of a clear plastic hood worn by flight attendants between the terminal and aircraft to protect their hairdos from rain and wind from the jet engines. Braniff called it a "rain dome" but it was impractical and ceased after 1965.

He also incorporated the "BI" logo into some of his prints. He used his designs on blouses and a line of wrinkle-free printed silk dresses at the urging of Stanley Marcus. He received the Neiman-Marcus Fashion Award in Dallas in 1954 and 1967. The two hostess images shown here are among seven from the UT Dallas collection used in Emilio: Pucci Fashion Story.

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