#SuzyMFW: Fausto Puglisi - Rome Meets Hollywood

We are not at all like you" flashed on the screen at the end of a mini movie projected at the beginning of the Fausto Puglisi show. It might have been a slogan for the designer's show, heavy in velvet brocade, hefty in studded boots, bodies bound in black leather dresses with the deep bust line laced in. And, of course, Fausto's sun symbol looking more spiky than ever as its thin, sharp rays were spread over the outfits.

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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It was not so much the clothes that seemed heavy handed, for there were pretty shades of duck egg blue, mauve and primrose yellow. But the spirit and the presentation, with the lights capturing the models as if caught in headlights, had a sober, nervy feeling, not least because the designer talked of a 'real' woman.

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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She was "not anymore a girl", but rather a protagonist of Gomorrah, the 2008 Italian movie, which exposed the Mafia web in southern Italy and has now been made into a television series.

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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But Fausto also said that his focus was on brocade and embroidery, artisan craftsmanship drawing visually on the Palazzo Pamphili, in Rome. Italy's exceptional hand skills showed up constantly in explosions of pattern worked in stitches on satin padding or brocade. The effect was particularly dramatic when the metallics were worked on shocking pink, or a sunray medallion was made in heavy metal.

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Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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These were not clothes for the shy and retiring, but rather for a woman with a feisty look under her black sombrero. And she, this power woman with a hint of caricature, has been around since the Eighties.

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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I tried to imagine this show in different circumstances, if Fausto had shown a milder presentation with gentle lighting against a background of Roman sculptures, or against any of the Roman objects he referred to - crystal brocade sofas and swishing robes as seen in Fellini's Roma or Pasolini's unfinished book, Petrolio.

The designer defined his goal as a "maniacal opulence for a contemporary world".

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Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

Fausto Puglisi Autumn/Winter 2017

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Please calm down Fausto! Whether it is his years in Los Angeles in the 2000s that encourages him to make every show into a dramatic scenario, or whether he is getting entangled in his own fashion world, the designer did not display his evident talent at its best.

Vogue

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