There are two well-known Puccis. Emilio was the fashion designer who was famous for his psychedelic 1960s prints. The other Pucci, Ralph, coincidentally started out in fashion, too, taking his father's mannequin business to new heights by making mannequins in active poses, such as jogging or doing handstands. But the day that Ralph Pucci met French interior designer Andree Putman to discuss mannequins for Barneys in Manhattan was to change his life. Not only did he design a revolutionary mannequin, he now represents the furniture collections of Putman and more than 15 other international designers and artists who create contemporary furniture, lighting, rugs and sculpture. And his shows and collections are so nouvelle that he’s earned the respect of the magazine editors in Manhattan and garnered an enviable star-studded, style-conscious clientele.
For the first time ever Ralph Pucci will bring his posse to the West Coast, staging an exhibit at the Christopher Farr contemporary rug gallery in Los Angeles from Friday, March 28 to Saturday, May 10. This will be no ordinary exhibit, for Pucci has a flair for drama, displaying every chair, table and console, each wall light or hanging fixture and a few carefully selected carpets like art. If Angelenos are lucky, Pucci will mix his signature celebrity mannequins, in the likeness of models such as Kristy Turlington, with furniture by the leading artists in the world, as he does in his Manhattan showroom.
Mannequins, furniture and sculpture on parade at the Pucci showroom in Manhattan
“This is all about bringing a sophisticated level of international design to Los Angeles — furniture, lighting and sculpture this city has never seen,” says the London-based Christopher Farr, who opened the eponymous contemporary rug on La Cienega Boulevard last May with his business partner, Matthew Bourne.
Of all the possible temporary or permanent venues in Los Angeles, Ralph Pucci, who has been courted by a number of locations to move to Los Angeles, chose Christopher Farr because the gallery’s charm and charisma were magnetic.
Christopher Farr is housed in a two-story 1940s building with dramatic high ceilings, parquet floors and period architectural details that evoke the glamour of old Hollywood. (Coincidentally, "The Best of Ralph Pucci International" show launches a few days after the Oscars on March 23.) Pucci will exhibit a console, table and lamp from American Chris Lehrecke's latest collection in the downstairs room which is lined with original antique French boiserie panels. French designer Christophe Delcourt's furniture collection will be set around an old French stone mantel in the other room on the first level, where a pair of Kate Blee Circle rugs designed for Christopher Farr will be on display. Upstairs, a pair of striped color field rugs hung on the walls will serve as a backdrop for the sleek, contemporary seating of French designers Andree Putman and Paul Mathieu.
Daybed by Trace Simple
Chairs from Andree Putman
Pucci also plans to feature the large-scale organic wood sculptures of Jerome Abel Seguin of Paris in the courtyard, where an original stone fountain gurgles under the shade of graceful old large-leafed banana trees.
Thanks to the mannequins, Neiman-Marcus will be exhibiting some of the furniture and rug designs of Pucci designers in their store windows to coincide with the show at Christopher Farr.