“In the moment of fear we went back to being rowdy, and above the noise we brought out our intelligence, capable of winning the battle”. Born in Messina in 1976, Fausto Puglisi is the designer who together with Dolce & Gabbana and Gianni Versace has more crystallized the south in recent years in the plots of the collections. Fabrics that seem rigorous and fluttering majolica, lava and illuminated like its Sicily. “We brought out our nature made of slowness and expressed feelings and we turned into one big South”, Puglisi inflames, after having posted on his Instagram profile a photo that portrays him, symbolically and with a group of friends, overlooking a small balcony on avenue Montaigne in Paris. Leaning out of the balconies used as a theater stage, Italy kept company for weeks, playing the pots like tambourines of the taranta and intoning the Italian songs and Mameli’s Anthem. Those who knew how to do it carried a trumpet. Those who could not do anything cackled and resumed with the phone a Mediterranean resistance that has gone around the world. «As a boy I lived in an elevated position on the Strait, near the Fair, and I saw the sea with its arrogant blue that became lead if the clouds loomed. I grew up seeing the ships go back and forth giving a dizziness, the impression that the earth itself was moving. We are a peninsula, and I was born overlooking a port: that’s why I love those who open up to others, that’s why I understood that the balconies were turning into bridges to bring us closer ».
Flash mob with psychedelic lights in via Madama Cristina, in Turin.
© NICOLÒ CAMPO / LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES.
What has transformed your terrace in the center of Milan?
It has become the scenario of new thoughts. It was sunny, there were plants, and I thought that from now on I would have liked to organize the fittings here, bring the models to me and celebrate life. This whole story made us understand that we must slow down. Do you know who my master was in fashion? Azzedine Alaïa, who had a home study and invited Naomi to try on clothes while cooking for her. If he had ideas, he presented the collection. Or nothing. I believe in cinema and music, and it doesn’t seem to me that directors and musicians make a film every two months, as happens to us. In those days I understood that I don’t want to end up suffocated by all these hysterical and continuous requests. We need to understand where the world is going and be heroic, like Ulysses.
Milan: a woman plays the accordion on the balcony of her apartment.
© ALESSANDRO GRASSANI / CONTRASTO © THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Has Milan overlooking the balconies surprised you?
No, because all of Italy is united by the same pride, which knows how to be playful but also serious, if necessary. I lived a year in Istanbul and also there I saw people living on the faces: but we are ahead. We have a carnal and Middle Eastern culture that knows how to join the great western thought, a political tradition that has emancipated itself from religious oppression, we have art and industry. On the balconies we demonstrate our lay and layered spirituality, and join the many minds who have struggled to make us independent.
Opening: the photo that Fausto Puglisi posted on his Instagram profile: he and friends, a few years ago, looking out of a balcony on avenue Montaigne in Paris.