Fausto Puglisi unveils a transatlantic Roberto Cavalli pre-fall
Barely off the plane from Miami, Fausto Puglisi has unveiled pre-fall Roberto Cavalli, and it’s also a meeting of USA and Italy; Southwest and Sicily; Millicent Rogers and la moda.
A ripple of Blaxploitation imagery also runs through the collection, with its bright colors, racy gal style and models with afros.
“In the USA, I find you can dialogue with so many cultures all at once. I don’t think of muses when I design but of great women who I admire. Like Millicent Rogers, who led the fight for rights for native Americans even if she was a New York-born daughter of an oil millionaire. Or Georgia O’Keefe, another New Yorker who moved to the Southwest – even if they had very different aesthetics. I like finding humanity in Extreme Glamour,” enthused Puglisi, who included an 85-year-old woman from New Mexico in his look-book.
Though the collection begins with a beautiful black afroed model in a double face coat of bitter orange and caramel.
“I am obsessed with Nina Simone,” confessed Puglisi, just back from throwing an exotic dinner during Miami Basel, inside the Old Spanish Monastery.
“It’s a beautiful monastery dating from the 12th century. William Randolph Hearst discovered and bought it in the 20s, dismantled it and brought it to the USA. But he was bankrupt when it arrived. So, it sat in a Brooklyn warehouse for over 20 years until they finally rebuilt it in the 60s. And, by the time we had decorated the table, it was very Sicilian Vice,” he laughed.
The Italian designer artfully jumbles up Italy and American in other looks for pre-fall: 70s retro flared pants; Starsky and Hutch weekend looks; or chocolate and black leather patchwork Shaft worthy coats. He even added in a touch of the Northwest, with a grunge twist – showing oversized plaid layered governess dresses and corduroy suits.
The house’s founder was a notably brilliant expert in printing, and Puglisi continues the tradition – seen in a series of Wild Leda Renaissance prints seen on gowns at a special installation at their Bal Harbor boutique. And in new photo prints of real leather made on shearling and knits for pre-fall. Other shearlings are finished with cashmere, spun to look like fur.
“I love the mix of real and fake together. That’s very Roberto,” insisted Puglisi.
In knits, he riffed on Krizia style jacquard from the 80s, and in his case a giant Tiger head sweater, in brown and orange for gals, or black and white for guys.
For the evening, his smoldering vixens will wear leopard print cocktails, or plunging cheetah tops. All finished with Santa Fee green western jewelry. And all anchored in Jackie Brown suede platform boots.
The Cavalli dude marches in cowboy boots, and makes a powerful entrance in black leather shirts overprinted with images of a buxom vamp in a cheetah print dress, her head crowned with diabolic red horns. The same image making up a print used in silk shirts, nylon blousons and jumpsuits.
“It’s my pin-up satanic print, a doctored old image I found from the 50s,” he belly laughs.
For more somber times, both guys and gals also wear blends of Prince of Wales, gingham and checks in suits, blazer, shirts and kilts for men.
After multiple visits to America this past year, Fausto plans to stay in Italy this month, and prepare for the next Cavalli runway show in February in Milan. Though Christmas and New Year will be spent in his native Sicily.
“I've really got to get to Sicily. I have been travelling soooo much to New York, LA, Coachella and Miami. I cannot wait to see Sicily and see my old friends and family. And gaze on the Sicilian sea and eat and drink. But also, to design. It will be a good moment to resee ideas, to consider and to breathe,” he concludes.
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