Peter Dundas’ premiere Pre-Fall collection for Roberto Cavalli is imbued with the bohemian freedom of the late sixties and early seventies – in both attitude, and aesthetics.
“I wanted to create a wardrobe that I would like to see my friends wear”, says Peter Dundas, “infused with the Cavalli codes of the rockstar vibe, bohemia and divine decadence”.
The powerful, sensuous muses of the era’s rock and roll icons and iconography form the inspiration for the new Roberto Cavalli collection. Strong and beautiful, elegant and yet extravagant, always a free spirit, her archetypal wardrobe is the starting point for the collection’s exploration of liberated dressing for the twenty-first century.
Day and evening mix; beaded dresses are worn with sneakers, precious furs with denim, for a nonchalant glamour. Animal prints and florals, key codes of the house of Cavalli, mix on delicate chiffon dresses. A carousel of colour and pattern, the theme is Circus Cavalli; the prints express it most freely, worked through graphics depicting gypsy flowers, stars or exploding multihued fireworks, leopard contrasting with colourful silk prints of vintage circus-scenes in wide-cut, easy evening pyjamas. A louche, languid luxury.
The silhouette throughout is long, lean, elongating the body. Evening dresses are slender columns, hemlines brushing the floor. Trousers are fluid flares. The Cavalli woman borrows from the Cavalli man’s wardrobe freely, expressing the symbiosis of their style. Distressed denim, a house trademark, is worn low and loose on the hip. The Cavalli woman may also sport a tomboy trouser-suit in dusky-pink jacquard or a slender, gold-flecked pinstripe. She wears it as easily and elegantly as a beaded evening gown.
Hybrid garments mix together the raw and the rarefied: a hussar’s jacket, frogged and lined in coyote is worn above simple wool trousers; precious bead embroidery is transposed onto cotton denim. Cavalli’s excellence with leather and skin results in patchworked jackets and coats of snake, calf or fur.
The colour palette contrasts light and dark, colourful and sober. Pure midnight black mixes with amethyst, period green and pale moonstone blue, alongside palladium and old gold. A cornucopia of dazzling decoration mimics the brilliant hues of a carousel. Throughout, the wardrobe mixes references to the past with an air of the contemporary, a constant conversation between nostalgia and now.
The grandeur of the Palazzo Clerici is the natural environment to photograph the collection. Combining opulence with reality, it emphasises the fact that luxury, for the Roberto Cavalli woman, is something to be enjoyed everyday.