Roberto Cavalli Pre-Fall 2023 Collection

Fausto Puglisi isn’t hemmed in by the Roberto Cavalli codes. Proof of that this pre-season comes from his muses Millicent Rogers and Georgia O’Keeffe. Neither were the glamazon type. Rogers was an oil heiress who turned to the fight for Native American civil rights later in life, and O’Keeffe, of course, was an artist. New Mexico is the link between them; both women called it home.

An enthusiastic Americanophile, Puglisi made a pilgrimage to the southwest earlier this year. Its turquoise jewelry accessorizes many of his pre-fall looks, and he used the veined blue stone to inspire the vivid color of floaty chiffon dresses.

That said, there are many pieces here that you’d never not guess are Cavalli. The requisite leopard spot slip dresses and zebra stripe capes are present and correct, as is a photo print of fur, and the cut-out numbers that Jennifer Lopez has adopted as a red carpet uniform also turned up in multiples. They “sell like bread here in the US,” Puglisi said at a New York preview. He’d spent the previous few days at Art Basel Miami, where the evil pinup print shirt from the men’s collection he wore (she’s got devil horns) received many approving inquiries.

So the surprise is how Puglisi gamely keeps expanding the Cavalli aesthetic. Pre-fall has a tiered and ruffled plaid dress that almost qualifies as folksy, a brown corduroy skirt suit, other sharply tailored pieces in Prince of Wales checks, and double-face cashmere coats that Rogers would’ve found useful in her pre-New Mexico days as a New York socialite. He said the fall collection he’ll show on the runway in February will continue to push into new territory.

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