Passion is not a problem for Fausto Puglisi. In describing various elements — the Ballets Russes, Sonia Delaunay, the Statue of Liberty and color, among them — the words “obsessed” and “obsession” rolled off his tongue again and again. This bombastic enthusiasm raced through the clothes.
The designer’s fall collection was a collision course of contrasts, some of which paired well together, while others weren’t meant to be. “It’s ladylike and young; it’s wife and mistress at the same time; chic and shock; sophisticated and a little bit vulgar,” said Puglisi, who is fearless in his pursuit of his extreme ethos.
Kaleidoscopic patchworks of black, ivory and red, or turquoise, purple and black were the collection’s constant, meticulously placed on sheaths, short flared skirts, sweatshirts, aggressive biker jackets and skimpy dresses with bra tops. Many of the pieces bore modernist Baroque embroideries, such as gold triangles arranged down the front of a skirt, or the vestige of Lady Liberty, whom Puglisi loves.
It was a lot to handle, at times too much. Craftsmanship was not a question. Refined cuts and rich materials, including a base of wool crepe, did much to streamline the visual cacophony, except in the case of long-sleeve T-shirts worn with pleated midlength skirts — a look at once edgy and dowdy. Puglisi’s blitz of the bold made the most sense when he followed the feisty, young and flirty theme, as with a short apron dress in a blue color scheme with a splash of angular embroideries, and patchwork leggings worn under a boxy top.