Fausto Puglisi: Made in Italy’s rising star

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“Everything is happening so quickly!” said Puglisi, a 37-year-old rising star who was discovered by Dolce&Gabbana in 2010 and is currently taking part in only his second Milan Fashion Week.

“The impact has been violent. I’m still getting my mind round it. I am concentrating on work, which is often tough and heavy,” said Puglisi, who is also creative director at Emanuel Ungaro.

“When Madonna calls me to make a stage costume, I get working straight away. I think about the embroidery etcetera. There are so many things to do!” he told AFP in an interview ahead of his catwalk show.

“I am living this moment like a dream on one hand and a nightmare on the other because it comes with enormous responsibilities, especially for the 12 people who work with me on style, business and admin,” he said.

His new autumn-winter collection was typically sexy, eye-catching and brash.

The designs featured colourful triangles on leggings, Harlequin-like tops, skin-tight bodies, gold-tipped boots and even a loose Lady Liberty sweatshirt.

Puglisi said the collection was a “joyful and whimsical” homage to the legendary late American fashion editor Diana Vreeland of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and her obsession with the Ballets Russes.

“My universe draws both on Italian fashion, the Mediterranean know-how and on American counter-culture,” said a tanned and close-cropped Puglisi.

“I love mixing elements of rock with culture,” said Puglisi, who left Sicily for the United States when he was 18 and quickly established himself as a name to watch with the Hollywood crowd.

But Puglisi has returned and speaks proudly of his Italian roots.

He says Gianni Versace, the designer who was shot dead in 1997, is his role model and there are strong similarities.

“My collections are all made in Italy by artisans, each one a specialist in his or her domain, from jewels to embroidery to prints. I love everything beautiful.”

Puglisi said he was also enjoying his work with Ungaro in Paris, where he has been working for the past year.

“It’s a marvellous experience,” he said.

“There are no real differences between how people work in Italy or in France. Since I’m Sicilian, in the end everything becomes a bit Sicilian. Even Paris!”

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