On a resort call, Fausto Puglisi name-checked everyone from Succession’s Shiv Roy to the pop megastars Taylor Swift and Madonna to Michelle Obama, and threw in The White Lotus, to boot, but he kept returning to the Roberto Cavalli POV as a driving force.
“When I designed this collection I decided to think like the director of a movie,” he said. “You can have different women as characters, from 15-year-old daughters to their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, and different cultures mixing together, but you can still see the signature of the director.” Puglisi knows his way around the Cavalli signatures: 1970s bell-bottoms, leather craftsmanship, animal print, and what he describes as “that chiffon lightness” were all in the mix here.
While the collection dwells in excess, the Puglisi way is to make it all effortlessly approachable. The lineup is mostly separates, many of which are exercises in giving classic shapes the Cavalli touch: There’s a run of trenches in seasonal prints (including a reissued lemon and snake archival artwork); a standout coat in patchworked diagonal pieces of leather, plus a men’s companion jacket; a must-have chocolate brown leather bomber; ruffled cotton skirts in the season’s prints; everyday trousers cut in flared shapes; and Prince of Wales plaid tailoring in beige tones (but with cheetah print lining).
Evening wear is where Puglisi flexes his imagination to elevate the house’s visual lexicon. He showed teal devoré zebra and cheetah frocks, easy slip dresses in sequin cheetah, devoré military green velvet that sits with the house’s new palm tree camo, and a silver sequined interpretation of a classic Cavalli print. The black and white cotton lace pieces, while another Cavalli signature, were perhaps one too many stories in this lineup.
For menswear, Puglisi harnessed the ease of American sportswear. Silky camp-collar button-downs, printed shorts, wide tailored trousers, dress shirts with a twist (be that placed graphics or black ruffles), and versatile tailoring. His men’s clothes are less complex in silhouette than his womenswear, but they make just as loud of a statement.
While some of today’s most iconic stars—Madonna, Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat—have worn his designs, Puglisi has recently been making headlines by creating memorable on-stage outfits for Taylor Swift’s ongoing The Eras Tour. (The red snake jewelry worn throughout this lookbook may be a Cavalli signature, but it moonlights as a nod to Swift’s Reputation era catsuit with the same motif—the kind of easter egg the performer often leaves behind for her fans to clock.)
“It’s always a dialogue,” he said of dressing these megawatt names. “They’re all amazing, they’re all powerful, they know exactly what they want.” He takes the same approach to designing ready-to-wear. Puglisi knows his woman is just as bold as these superstars.