Georgia O’Keefe goes on a southwestern Safari

A big cat moment at Roberto Cavalli, where designer Fausto Puglisi riffed on Georgia O’Keefe and the American southwest even as he referenced the Renaissance and rock’n’roll.
Presented inside La Borsa, the former stock market of Milan and a temple to Italian ambition, the mood was one of intense anticipation. The models storming around to the driving sounds of More by the Sisters of Mercy and industrial rock by Gesaffelstein.

Roberto Cavalli fall/winter 2023 collection – Courtesy

Opening with this season’s leading model Adut Akech, smouldering in flared leather jeans, studded at the side; patchwork bra, Albuquerque amulet and giant, floor sweeping faux-fur coat.
In a season of devoré velvet, Cavalli had the hottest, floral velvet pants inserted with crochet and lace. All very 70s with uproariously flared pants; or denim pants that became shards of chiffon scarves below the knee.

Geronimo groovy gals in wildly cutaway patchwork leather cocktails – Raquel Welch a million years after One Million Years B.C. As Puglisi connected minimalist O’Keefe with Millicent Rogers, the Standard Oil heiress whose Native American influenced jewelry had a profound impact on 20th-century style. Hence, Comanche cool with turquoise stone jewelry.
Lots of separates – velvet dusters with leopard overprints; micro-mesh jumpsuits in mixes of zebra and cheetah; cutaway gowns in bird of fantasy prints just like the invitation to this show. The same print used in men’s tuxes in this co-ed collection. Even outstanding pink alligator print pyjama suits.
Fake fur that looked soft and welcoming, not scratchy, and made to be worn with anything; from a lace bodystocking, to a pair of jeans and T-shirt.
Made in a palette of chocolate, black and brown, before an explosion of Delft blue – from raggedly pirate coats to shearling duffle coats, printed in angels, cherubs and saints.  
“A seventies vibe but in a more contemporary way. A meeting of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Italy. I am Sicilian and I started designing this collection in LA,” explained Puglisi in his backstage.
“A sense of wildness and freedom that is really sexy. Not just because it is attractive but also because it is comfortable,” smiled the designer, who has never seemed more in charge of the house of Cavalli.

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