January 08, 2014 New York
Last season, the collection that Fausto Puglisi sent down the Emanuel Ungaro runway was a coquettish, frou-filled affair. This time out, the buzzy Puglisi opted for a grown-up tone and much more urbane silhouettes. Hemlines erred long, baggy trousers had a masculine toughness, and elsewhere the emphasis was on sharp, kimono-inspired shapes. But all those elements really just served to underline Puglisi's graphic theme, which did link this collection back to Spring's. Puglisi continued to show off his knack for juxtaposing patterns—his way of mixing zebra stripe, herringbone, and chevron was particularly playful and compelling—and for elaborating them in interesting ways. Many of his animal prints, for instance, were developed to look like they'd been inked in the style of antique Chinese illustrations. That was a nice touch—it introduced a suggestion of softness that was missing from this largely astringent outing, what with its focus on a black-and-white palette cut with bright orange and lime green. The textural variety helped, as well; the squishy knit wool used in a long, fitted T-shirt dress and the mink chevron-stripe on a coat and along the front of a wool herringbone skirt looked good. Not everything here worked—a lot of the asymmetric pieces came off rather mannered—but in general Puglisi's choice to pare back served him well.
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