FAUSTO PUGLISI

Candela Novembre met for RedMilk Magazine Fausto Puglisi, one of the most acclaimed young designers of the moment. She speaks with him about his brilliant career that brought him to also become creative director of Emanuel Ungaro.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
When I wake up I want music, and to be with my dogs: two wonderful Labradors. Today, I woke up at full volume with Icona Pop’s “I Love It”. It’s a song I adore at the moment. So, the morning routine is a shower, dogs and music.

What was the last trip you took and why did you stay in that particular place?
New York, for the MET Gala, and it was a wonderful experience, also because Virginia Smith from Vogue America was there. She was wearing Fausto Puglisi and Coco Rocha was in Emanuel Ungaro. It’s well known what the Met Gala is, and it’s an event that perhaps, from some aspects, has surpassed the Oscars, because it’s truly a concentration of fashion, music, cinema and art, all together. It is truly spectacular. Also because Anna Wintour and Vogue America know how to organise things so well that it was a sensational party, and for me it was an honour to be there.

What is the strongest point in your way of working?
Spontaneity. Not following what others say with regard to trends, to non-trends, to what is ok and what is not, what is too vulgar and what is not, and I hate the word “chic”. I need to have faith in myself. For me fashion is enjoyment but it’s also a serious matter, you need total discipline and then you mix that with a touch of extravaganza.

And what is the least strong point in your work?
I think we all have a lot of points that are stronger or less strong. I don’t really know what my least strong point is. For now, I concentrate on the energy that I put into the things I do. This energy is so incredible that I wouldn’t know how to recognise what my least strong points are. For me everything is a strength, positive and negative, in evolution, a continuous explosion.

Ask yourself a question and give yourself the answer
What did you have for lunch? Saffron risotto.

Do you remember the first thing you ever drew?
Certainly. And this drawing created problems for my teacher. I was at nursery school and there was a competition, “Disegna Messina” (Draw Messina) which is where I’m from. Someone drew a cathedral, another the port, another a hill, and so on. I drew this beautiful place near the city, from where you can see the sea and from the other side, Calabria, and I attached to a tree a woman dressed in a red leather studded jacket and boots, thigh boots, clearly associated with a prostitute. The teacher called my mother and asked her how I came to know about this aspect of life and I remember that my mother was very upset. My idea of a woman has always been strong, very strong, and in that type of aesthetic there was magic: it was not the woman as mother, it was not the mothering woman and it was not the sweet woman.

What is your first memory connected to fashion?
My first memory connected to fashion is a shop in Messina where they sold Gianni Versace and Dolce & Gabbana. Versace is my greatest maestro and I spent hours on end watching the clients who were trying on his clothes. Then there were also the clothes of Mugler and Lacroix. And Domenico and Stefano were making their first bodices in hand-made lace. It really was a ritual to see men and women wearing these wonderful things. On the other hand, another memory is linked to my grandfather who took me with him to the tailor to choose the cloth which would be used for his suits.

Who is the woman you would like to dress today?
I wanted to dress Virginia Smith because I really love her, and I have been able to do it. Honestly, at the moment I’m dressing a lot of women I admire and whom I like, but I’m not obsessed with wanting to dress anyone at all costs. Luckily it’s all happening very naturally.

Who is the woman you would have liked to dress in the past?
Cleopatra or Maria Antonietta… or Caligula; that’s a man, but it finishes with the letter “a”.

Is there anything you would like to do but you can’t find the time?
I would love to go to the cinema, to devote time to the gym like I did before, or to see my friends more, and go dancing. I would like to do so many things, but both in New York and in Paris I spend my time closed in and working. Unfortunately, and fortunately, that’s how it is at the moment.

Which food represents you?
Pasta and Coca-Cola Zero.

What comes to mind if I say Fausto as a child?
Dreaming: I was a dreamer – and I still am. A child who dreamed, and I haven’t changed.

What do you think is your best side?
I think it’s the fact that I love being with straightforward people. I don’t let myself be conditioned by what sector they come from … fashion, art, cinema, the street… I like people who are instinctive and let you see their humanity.

On the other hand, which aspect of your personality do you like least?
None. I love my life and what I do.

What would you like to learn to do in one minute?
Lots of things and, at the same time, nothing. I could tell you that I would like to be able to print fabrics in a second with the power of thought. but truthfully not even that. I like the process of learning things, and of doing them. I like being Fausto Puglisi and relishing every moment that leads me to being him. From the enjoyable things, to those that are a bit less so.

Is there anything you would never wear?
Almost everything I see being modelled on the menswear catwalks. But not because there isn’t anything I like, but I see them on the models and I don’t believe it. Then, I happen to see the same thing on a boy in the park and I like it. I don’t like what people think is new because, for me, it no longer is. I find it a lot more cool to find fresh inspiration in the people I see in the street.