Saturday, June 18, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Fausto Puglisi

Before we leave Pitti Uomo to hop north for Milano Moda Uomo, I want to share one last collection. Because he has previously designed for women only, Fausto Puglisi flew under my radar until this attention-grabbing Spring Summer '17 menswear collection--his first ever--he presented at Pitti. Now, I have been waffling about posting the collection because...because...well, see for yourself. It's over-the-top and it's garish but something about it keeps me coming back to look. Clearly Puglisi is enamored with imagery from ancient Italy (his native country) and by extension ancient Greece. Images of statues of Roman and Greek gods and il Sole adorn jackets, shirts, and wide-cut shorts that end up looking like a gladiator skirt with lappets. Knee-high gladiator sandals are the finishing touch.

But lest we get too judgmental, we should remember early--and possibly recent--Versace collections which featured Rococo designs, Medusa heads, and enough gold to embarrass Midas. There is a funny, endearing "tacky-Italian" quality to these two houses and designers, a kind of Euro-trash flash that makes one's eyes roll while simultaneously bringing a smile to one's lips. And the type of whoa-there, hyper-masculine models Puglisi chose (he clearly has an eye for the hunks--ropey arms, neck like oxen) shows us he is aware of the kind of bruiser who might wear such clothes, complete with all the coral earrings and ornate medallions, dripping necklaces, crosses, and waist chains... he even wrapped their arms and legs in cloth manicae which are strips of protective padding worn by gladiators. When I was last in Rome, there were many men in gladiator outfits outside the Colosseum waiting to have their photo taken (for a few euros of course) with eager tourists. Some of these "gladiator reenactors" were obviously in it for some quick money, with their pleather lappets and PVC helmets. But there was another strain of reenactor...a group of muscular men who wore actual metal, leather, and strapped sandals, with shaved heads and "SPQR" tattooed on their biceps. These men were dedicated. And it looks like Puglisi employed a few of them to model this collection! Grrrrr...

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