Fausto Puglisi recognizes the need to build a stronger men’s category for the Roberto Cavalli brand and he’s staying away from the Riviera playboy of yore. “I’ve never loved that character, and luckily, he doesn’t exist anymore, the world has changed,” Puglisi said. In his vision for the brand, there should be “a continuous exchange and dialogue between men and women,” and the collections should telegraph “a sense of freedom, rather than a provocation.”
After putting the brand back on the fashion map and on the red carpet — or on TV with Mary J. Blige most recently wearing his designs for the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime promotional video — the designer flexed his creative muscle for fall, showing increasing confidence in his mission to revitalize the Cavalli brand.
He showed a wider range of looks, blending romantic floral patterns with bold bondage references. Puglisi paid tribute to Italian artisans by presenting biker jackets and pants intricately worked with metallic chains and hardware applications, and tulle inserts with a see-through effect.
Celebrating self-expression and individuality, his eye-catching and eccentric pieces can be mixed and matched freely, such as the blazers and shirts in different sizes of Prince of Wales checks.
Knitwear was a strong element this season — with lots of cashmere and mohair looks showing colorful tartan patterns and furry-like textures — and Puglisi rejuvenated the classic twin set with a fun patchwork of python and zebra prints with macro checks and a dose of vitamin orange.
Beautiful floral brocades with touches of gold embellished bombers, soft robe coats, silk pajama sets and an A-line short women’s dress, but also a pleated kilt with a deep slit — for men or women alike, he said.
He played with asymmetries on leather lapels and vertical and horizontal graphic effects, which gave movement to the looks, and trompe l’oeil chain prints, seen on Bermuda shorts, for example.
The designer said he “always loved a structured shoulder,” and so they were, on wool and cashmere jackets, but they were never oversize and never too bulky.
Completing the looks were booties, derbies, stretch boots and sneakers punctuated by metallic studs and fangs — delivering Puglisi’s clear message head-to-toe.