Fausto Puglisi’s fascination with American culture is no secret, and it’s reflected in his collections for Roberto Cavalli and on the movie and pop stars he dresses for the red carpet.
After exploring New Yorkers’ effortlessly cool style and the relaxed vibe of women in Palm Springs, California, in his previous pre-collection, the Sicilian designer gave a South-Western twist to the fashion house’s codes for pre-fall 2023. Think of the ever-present animal prints enriched with long fringes, flounced plaid shirts and frocks, or the brand’s signature sexy gowns with cutouts punctuated by turquoise jewelry as most immediate expressions.
“Cavalli was born from this attitude derived from the American world and mixed with Florentine Renaissance. It has always spoke Italian but through an international lens, so it has never been provincial,” Puglisi said over Zoom from a bar in New York after touching base in Miami for an event the brand hosted during Art Basel.
In conjuring a versatile collection that could speak to multiple generations of women, Puglisi also looked to different icons for inspiration, naming socialite and art collector Millicent Rogers and artist Georgia O’Keeffe throughout the conversation, among others. “They are two completely different personalities, who both moved to New Mexico…so we start from there but also, more pragmatically, from a real wardrobe,” the designer said.
The lineup offered a variety of appealing silhouettes, encompassing ‘70s tailoring, sensual slipdresses in printed velvet and more lady-like proportions with voluminous skirts as well as beautiful color-blocked double-face cashmere coats and capes with fringed hemlines.
If the animal prints made for the flashier (and quintessentially Cavalli) styles, sartorial pieces were the ones deserving particular attention. The sharp cuts of blazers mixing checks and Prince of Wales patterns, and the tall side slits on matching pencil skirts, were just as fierce as the leopard motifs or the fur prints and colorful python patterns that spiced up the collection.
Flocking jersey afforded a corduroy-like, lived-in effect to elongated tailoring, while a suit crafted from a patchwork of leather pieces and with lace-up details stole the spotlight. Ditto for the mature model who posed for the look-book images next alongside younger talents: She best proved that Puglisi’s vision for Cavalli has no age.