Three seasons in, and Fausto Puglisi has fully unleashed the animal spirits that have long been synonymous with this brand.
“It’s my first true Cavalli collection,” said Puglisi, describing the brand’s 82-year-old founder, Roberto Cavalli, as “the king of relaxed glamour” who was happy to drape anyone, no matter their age, in his animal spots, look-at-me patterns and lavish furs (formerly real, now faux).
He looked to Cavalli’s gilded age in the early 2000s, reviving a starburst pattern worn by the Italian socialite Marta Marzotto, then in her early 70s, and splashed it across tailored jackets, silky, wide-open shirts and a long, cutout gown with sleeves as wide as butterfly wings.
Cavalli loved his furs, too, and Puglisi pumped them up to ginormous proportions. Some, such as a dark green shaggy belted one, were as big as bearskins, while a floor-length brown one was slimmer, and kept the chill off a hot pink trouser suit.
There were leopard spots everywhere, spread across pink and black slipdresses and languid robe coats, or popping on jumpsuits with corset lacing and feathery bell-bottoms. They weren’t the only print in town: Puglisi worked a broken-glass pattern, and the details of 18th-century cherub paintings, onto denim pieces and silk and devoré designs that resembled denim.
A saucy denim corset dress with a devoré train, and the matching slipdresses, robes and coats made from sheer silk and velvet were among the highlights of this vast collection that channeled the founder’s sense of spontaneity and freedom.
Puglisi has rediscovered the beat and glamour of this brand, and that’s good news for the generations of women (and men) who, like Marzotto, want to enter the room with a roar.