The persistence of memory – how it shapes the present, how it forms the future – inspires the Fall/Winter 2019 Roberto Cavalli collection by creative director Paul Surridge. It evokes memories of Cavalli – not direct references, but reflections. Embracing, celebrating, evolving, it asserts the codes of the house: vibrant colour, a distinct print language, an artisanal touch. Alongside universal ideals of status, allure, beauty and confidence. These too are fundamentally Cavalli.
Clothes move with the body – freedom is confident. The clothes interplay between fitted and draped, a dynamic esprit. Plissé silks ebb and flow, sometimes interrupted with a twist in their precision, and knits cling to contours yet shift in motion. A modern ease. Joie de vivre.
Tailoring is rigorous, sculpting: it defines. A compact silhouette drawn from frock-coats references timeless notions of status, and the structure of tailoring offers dynamic rigour when combined with liquid silks. Menswear relaxes tailoring – here, ease equals power,translating a modern deformalised attitude into sartorial dressing. Mens and womens clothes interchange, exchange. They have a memory of each other.
Cavalli’s key code of animalier is here impressionistic, refracted into a stylised, Modernist tiger print, shadowed, in unexpected colours. It appears as prints across fluid silks, as embroideries that appear painted on the skin, and in intarsia shearlings – abstracted, but always with a memory of its origin. Python is recreated as a hand-drawn pattern in jacquard, or as sequin embroidery keyed close to the body, drawn from archival styles. These are reflected in Art Deco-inspired evening dresses, the memory of the 1920s, a source of inspiration for Cavalli past and present.
The colour palette is rich, embedding subdued tonality with glimmering jewels: midnight navy, black, fresco pastels, porcelain, alongside chartreuse, lagoon-mist blue and bougainvillea.
Accessories are founded in anchors, classics, archetypes. Bags become embellished status symbols carrying “Bold C” hardware; jewellery plays with crocodile scale motifs, like a modern armour. Shoes have strong chiselled toes, on both high-boots and evening mules, balanced on a finely-tooled bevelled gold heel. The same sharp, squared toe appears in menswear, on an elevated ankle-boot – shown alongside the iconic Roberto Cavalli V1PER sneaker.
Throughout, like a heartbeat, is the artisanal touch that defines Cavalli. Delicate embroideries, intricate fabrics, a memory of the human touch. Quintessentially Roberto Cavalli.
Tue, February 26 2019 » Fashion Blog
The mood of the pioneer, the wanderlust of the pagan traveller exploring the universe of Roberto Cavalli, is the inspiration for Creative Director Peter Dundas’ spring/summer 2017 Roberto Cavalli collection. A melange of inspirations and influences, times and places, she wears her world, combining different cultures in a mix that feels quintessentially now and uniquely Cavalli.
Patchwork is a key notion: the patchworking of fabric, but also of different eras and locales. The Americas are a key starting point, prints and fabrics of Navajo and Apache tribes alongside the embroidered tailoring of Nudie Cohn, an ode to Elvis and the rock-and-roll heartbeat that throbs under every Cavalli collection. They combine with kimonos, Egyptian textiles, Buffalo soldiers, Victorian pioneers, and jaguar prints from Africa. A whole Cavalli world.
The collection is a game of contrasts. Noble fabrics – fils coupé jacquards and velvets – combine with denim. The art of the mix is vital. Gossamer beaded gowns, louche and decadent, are laced together along the seams, another form of patchwork, lending emphasis to their exquisite embellishment.
Colours are vivid, with gold, solarised orange, sunbleached pastels and chambray denim blue. Ombré finishes lend a patina of age, of clothes that have already lived and travelled.
The voyager mood is underlined by accessories: for day, generous hunter bags, while embroidered Victorian purses are a delicate accent for evening. Jewellery is artisanal, referencing native American tribal jewellery combined with Victoriana. Platform-sole wooden clogs are inspired by traditional Scandinavian dress, made glamorous via luxurious fabrics and craftsmanship.
The line is long, sinuous, the signature serpentine Cavalli silhouette evoked through slender flares and goddess gowns, skin seductively revealed through transparent fabrics and corset lacing. Male models walk alongside female in their finery, wardrobes in synch via an urge to exploration and love of cultural clash – the new Cavalli traveller tribe.
Tue, September 27 2016 » Fashion Blog
In his first menswear collection for Roberto Cavalli creative director Peter Dundas establishes a blueprint for the new Cavalli man, proposing a wardrobe for the twenty-first century dandy. The fall 2016 collection is the first step inside his wardrobe – a mix, a melange, a melding of casual and tailored elements, juxtaposing the precious and the everyday. This is clothing you can believe in, but still fantasise about. An homage to opulence, but also to reality.
The collection is infused with the freedom of the late sixties and early seventies: sensual, sexual, divinely decadent. Exploring the symbiosis between Cavalli’s clothing and the performance wardrobe of the world’s greatest rock stars, Peter Dundas references emblematic images of his own musical heroes: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, George Harrison, Gram Parsons and Serge Gainsbourg.
They epitomise the era’s fusion of elegance and extravagance, a fluid sexuality that never less had nothing androgynous about it. The fall 2016 Cavalli man is presented as a rock icon, his masculinity made even more potent by the touches of femininity in his attire. The mood is of bohemia. The collection riffs on a new Cavalli menswear vernacular, pulling archetypal pieces from the Cavalli archives, but reinvigorating them with a contemporary energy. Animal prints, intricately worked furs, embroideries inspired by the orient and India, decoration in abundance. All are present, endlessly mixed, but given the nonchalant attitude of today.
The palette is muted: bitter chocolate and rust, dusty rose, sepia and tobacco, embedded with jewel tones: ameythst, emerald and ruby. Dark tweeds are threaded with peridot green and kingfisher blue, contrasted with supple silks, metallic lamé, and the glimmer of sequins, even for day. The silhouette is long and lean, trousers flaring slightly, shoulders narrow, jackets elongated, coats dusting the calves. Traditional gentleman’s suiting in wool and tweed is combined with jacquards and prints referencing the work of William Morris. Flora and fauna invade classic patterns like polka-dot shirts or fair isle knits, with darting dragonflies and wriggling snakes.
Cavalli’s signature big cat prints are once more in abundance, joined by patterns derived from trompe-l’oeil kimono embroideries, and foulard silks cut into fluid lounging pyjama styles. Those add a hint of loucheness to the wardrobe. They are worn for evening – but never in bed. Roberto Cavalli’s expertise in leather is showcased in patchwork jackets of precious snake, or embroidered calf, the patterned extended to sneakers and chelsea boots embroidered with recreations of the organic prints in leather applique. Fur – faux and real – add touches of unapologetic luxury.
Peter Dundas has always been inspired by the powerful, sensual women to whom Cavalli’s masculine icons are inevitably drawn: he showcases a selection of his pre-fall 2016 Roberto Cavalli womenswear collection alongside the men, further emphasising the unity of the house’s new creative spirit. These models meander through the grandeur of the Palazzo Crespi – a palazzo/casa, or museum-home, its opulent beauty is nevertheless resolutely part of the real world. Just like the wardrobe of the Robert Cavalli man, and woman.
Mon, April 18 2016 » Fashion Blog
An evolution, a reimagining, a change. In his first collection as creative director of Roberto Cavalli, Peter Dundas goes back to the label’s fundamental elements – its essence – in order to define the new Roberto Cavalli woman of today.
Drawing on his heritage of work, as well as his own past as a storied member of the Cavalli team, Peter Dundas reinvigorates and revives the codes of the house, mixing them together into a dynamic and youthful new proposition. Fresh, wilful, and free: all hallmarks of the Roberto Cavalli woman.
Freedom – of body and of inspiration – is key. Dundas draws on Roberto Cavalli’s excellence in denim, leather and exuberant Florentine hand-craftsmanship to create a wardrobe that eschews notions of the precious, of day and night, in favour of a free mix of garments.
Ball skirts combine with sweatshirts, denim jackets are embroidered with craftsmanship traditionally reserved for evening. Silhouettes contrast between body-conscious and easy, the rapport with the body a vital element.
Baroque and minimal, familiar and new. Boundaries are blurred and ultimately redefined. The pegasus, a mythological symbol of freedom, is the collection’s central motif, ideologically and aesthetically, recurring in prints, jacquards and jewelry.
Print merge from tie-dye to animal demarkations and camou age, to “big cat prints” rethought as a lion’s face worked into brocades and jacquard knits. A burnt-out pattern in suede creates a dancing chiaroscuro of leopard print on the bare skin.
The natural world is the inspiration for all of this, and for the colour palette, of terracotta, brilliant limoncello, a washed Aegean turquoise and a palette of neutrals – including denim blue, the new neutral of the twenty- first century.
The collection is an homage to the technical possibilities of the Roberto Cavalli ateliers, not only in traditional atelier crafts – embroidered chains and chain-mail, tuffetage, or beading on tulle, used to create mirages of fabric through pure technique – but in more modern approaches.
Leather is washed to a velvet softness, silk taffeta tie-dyed, denim washed and treated. Those approaches and fabrics are juxtaposed continually, day and night, leather with silk, chiffon with denim, the contrasts proposing a fresh language for luxury. A freedom.
Taking couture back to the street, everything is precious, bar the attitude. This collection is an homage to the Roberto Cavalli woman – past, present and beyond.
Fri, January 22 2016 » Fashion Blog
The perfume of China, intense and sophisticated like the view of Shanghai from the Bund, modern and precious like the contemporary art district of Peking.
The Roberto Cavalli Fall/Winter 2015/16 collection takes its inspiration from an unexpected vision of the Great Country, seen through the lens of the highest Italian craftsmanship.
In this interpretation, iconic Chinese elements become luxurious details and leitmotifs of a style that is both cosmpolitan and modern. Oversize gold “pagoda” buttons punctuate the dresseses, coats and maxi-gilets at a raised waist, to create an elongated silhouette.
Ming vase inspired floral motifs in golden metal climb up the transparent plexiglass heels of ankle boots worn with dresses both short and supershort and semi-flats worn with loose, tailored pants.
Decorations become jewels: buckles on the wide belts and on the new Heroine bag that can be worn as a maxi clutch or as a shoulder bag. The last reference to traditional Chinese motifs is in the linings of the long coats, painted and embroidered like cloisonne’ enamel.
Then, a modern motif inspired by the romantic Chinese heroine Maggie Cheung: the windowpane check print cheongesam in the film “In the mood for love.”
This graphic element is newly interpreted as a white stiched leather embellishment on column coats in wool crepe, in white string embroidery on black micropaillette evening dresses, melded with classic floral patterns, in white pailletes on fur, or in silk fringed by hand and added to fabric to create an entirely new type of “fur.”
Shanghai night dresses, very long or super short in hand lacquered chinese-screen print silk, ocelet printed ponyskin, sinuous liquid paillettes with tulle intarsia, and slender wrapped silk with velvet embroidery melding opium garden motifs with delicate traces of tiger stripes.
Dreamy evening dresses flow with soleil panelleled degradé chiffon plissé.
Tue, June 16 2015 » Fashion Blog
Roberto Cavalli © Copyright 2015
The Autumn/Winter 2015 collection interprets the grandeur and opulence of the Baroque, not from a strictly literal perspective, but focusing primarily on the core ideas of expressiveness and exuberance.
Reprising the American reference points of previous seasons, this collection, with it’s slender and sharp silhouettes, also takes inspiration from the rock musician.
Leather pieces are embellished with metal and rubber studs, combining elegant details with biker and cowboy elements – not least in the collection’s biker boots – all seen through an Italian lens, creating an idea of the “Tuscan Prairie” that serves as the Roberto Cavalli playing field.
It’s a style with strong infusions of vintage; illuminated by a palette of golden colors comprised of blacks, tonalities of camel and sand, blue, and electric blue, while the animalier prints, nature’s own tapestry create an alternative to the gold details.
Last but certainly not least, the “No Boundaries” and “Empathy” bands worn under some of the looks symbolize the elevated approach to life of this Florentine designer; in which their are no psychological or material barriers – only endless possibilities.
Tue, February 10 2015 » Fashion Blog
Roberto Cavalli © Copyright 2014
The Light of Summer
The hectic pace of the city evaporates into a salty ocean breeze as boats anchored at the dock inspire dreams of travel to distant places. The warmth of the sun and the power of color become intoxicating as the summer turns into an elegant adventure where comfort and lightness are synonymous of style.
The captivating Roberto Cavalli women flow onto the deck, encountering summertime and the desire for a carefree escape: for S/S 2015 the Florentine designer creates a collection in which shades of fire orange, cerulean blue, racing green and saffron yellow become the mirror of the summer.
Sensuality as a light breeze that moves across the silhouette of psychedelic floral prints on silk georgette; ribbons flutter lightly on the long dresses.
Bands of striped multicolored jacquard and tulle give volume and weight to the pleated dresses, while the transparencies of white and pastel embroidered tulle express the carefree spirit of the season.
Leather makes an entrance in high-gloss crocodile, reappears in polished python, and takes a turn as laminated quicksilver – techniques also applied to shoes and handbags.
Denim, a fabric that lies at the heart of the maison, is treated with a vintage effect and featured in combinations that are both surprising and effortless. Distressed and patched denim pieces are paired with pieces in guipure lace and yet other pieces of sheer white aristocratic beauty. Lace cut-outs lined with silver sequins give the black denim pantsuit their secret lustre.
Evening wear in fluid silhouettes enriched with lavish lace transparencies, the flutter of feathers, and the unexpected mix of animal print sequin beading with broderie anglaise. The new summer ocelot print is animated by slashes of cobalt blue lace, or simply seductive in its soft fluid shapes.
Tue, September 23 2014 » Fashion Blog
The prints come from hand-painted canvas, exhibited backstage at the fashion show, representing animal skins.
The ‘trompe l’œil’ effect is enhanced by the illusory mix of pythons leather printed with tiger or jaguar motifs, furs printed with python motif, pony skins transformed into crocodile.
Imaginary animals from pure fantasy are born. The silhouette: very short or maxi.
Mini skirts or ‘balloon’ dresses show the legs and are created with three-dimensional placed embroideries, in brocade or filleted fur, printed or inlaid.
Maxi skirts made of python leather painted with tiger motif, lasered mink with crocodile effect or cashmere cloth are combined with jacquard mohair sweaters or with entirely embroidered t- shirts.
Sculpture dresses in printed silk mousseline do not follow the line of the body but they redesign it and open in large ruffles and flounces in silk organza embellished with tiny pleated ruffles and black lace.
Haute artisanship prevails throughout the collection. Leather punched sequin mixed with micro feathers. Embroidery in relief with three-dimensional effects that recreate animal mantles or reptile scales.
The jackets and coats, made of black python leather or printed with ocelot or tiger mantle effect, have structured shoulders and a narrow waistline.
Large necklaces and bracelets made of metal covered with python or colored enamel depicting flamingos, snakes, crocodiles, embellished with colored stones.
Jockey hats covered with feathers, fur and crocodile.
The Florence bag is embellished with new details such as closures or strings of leather with buckles, inspired by the high quality of ‘hand made’ trunks.
Pointy pump shoes and lace up boots in python, crocodile, ostrich and lizard.
Big sunglasses named Wild Diva with mirrored lenses have sharp, emphatic outlines, underlined by crocodile, ostrich or galuchat inlaid workings to create an iconic and glamorous style with a daring shape and bold colors.
The scenery is characterized by a carpet of 39,000 roses that recreate the design of the tiger mantle: Schwarz black roses, bright copper color Cherry Brandy roses, brown Coffee Break roses, yellow Ilios roses on a bed of white roses and carnation.
Sun, March 4 2012 » Fashion Blog
Inspirations of the Roberto Cavalli Man for the Autumn-Winter 2012/2013 collection unfold like a fable. Oneiric, ironic and philosophical, with touches of Tarantino; it is narrated as if by an ancient parchment, given to the fashion show. With dream like accompaniment by the blues chords and dissonances of one-man band Son of Dave, performing live on the runway amidst this shadow play. His music bewitches like a snake charmer, enchanting four animal-like men; incarnations and metaphors of the natural elements: air, earth, water, fire; definite personifications of the multifaceted soul of next season’s Roberto Cavalli man. The elements transform the wardrobe, giving life to the various themes of the show.
It begins with animalier patterns- the starting point of the collection – which in spires the design of patterns, prints and embroidery, shaking up the customary sartorial habits. Fabrics and patters are renewed through the use of three-dimensional effects that resemble imperceptible natural tattoos.
Crocodile skin is used not only as a material for extremely precious smoking jackets—the scales themselves are printed on velvet, also lending their texture to the smoking jackets, and giving new life to jeans. Tiger print, on the other hand, abandons its theatrical presence, plays a more low-key role: cutouts and stitching on matelassé bikers, cashmere capes, or the jacquard from the knitwear. Snake is still present, used for profiles and snake print details.
Feathers play a significant role, revisited in black and white photographic prints, micro to macro, on silk, often rendered even more precious by the application of real feathers and aigrettes. At times magnified, creating a new kind of spotted-pattern with a graphic and masculine allure.
Cheviot stripes are still present, as are pinstripes (appearing this time out on denim), English wool and the more classical chevron. Lapels of dinner jackets are embroidered with crystals, returning to their traditionally smaller form in silk and cashmere, or recreated directly on the garments through skilful sartorial cutting.
Suits and urban-suits take inspiration from traditional tailoring. The silhouettes however, present an abrupt lightness, as if caressed by a desert wind, the same wind that influences the choice of textiles and wearability, unexpectedly more fluid and relaxed compared to the formal precision of the past seasons. There is an evolution – rather than a revolution – of the fit: underlined by a slightly narrower shoulder, trousers sitting looser on the thighs, refined shirts from pashmina, and destructured coats with raglan sleeves.
The hint of a sophisticated oriental zephyr. Found also in particular details: the fine threaded embroideries, or the cornelly profiles gently worked like ottoman calligraphy. The palette is composed of nocturnal and eerie tones inspired by blues music, which fade into nuances of saturated colors darkly tinted, like blacks, grays and blues, harmoniously clashing with unexpected flashes of acid yellow, antique pink or sugar cane.
Essential leather Chelsea boots, which are also worn over the pants, and slippers, entirely embroidered with real feathers, as are the sashes and thin scarves that are left gently draping under the smoking jackets. Braided leather, snake, fabric and metal belts like Berber jewels, felt hats and necklaces with rock crystals, onyx and solid stone with the tressé python emblems.
Thu, January 26 2012 » Fashion Blog
The Spring/Summer 2012 runway show defines an extremely sophisticated and feminine image. The culture of Italy and its fine artisanship are enhanced in this collection by the experience of designer Roberto Cavalli, who more than forty years ago invented avant-garde techniques, evident in prints, skins and precious embroideries.
The meeting between the linearity and perfection of the Bauhaus-inspired outerwear, the Baroque lavishness of the dresses and the mini-skirts determines the silhouette of the collection.
The long dresses follow the line of the body, with printed mousseline inlays and lace, enriched with precious embroidery applied along the sides, and paired with sartorial jackets or a slim-fitting gilet with padded shoulders.
Opaque and transparent fabrics are mixed, creating lightness and sensuality. The legs are unexpectedly revealed.
Silk jackets printed with imaginary animals are illuminated with embroidery that mimics the pattern of the print, giving a three-dimensional effect.
Skirts in silk plissés with floral prints open with the movement of the body, revealing a contrasting animalier print, expressing the hidden side of the Cavalli woman‘s personality.
Short dresses, shirts and jackets in silk with a macro floral or animalier print reveal inserted frames of a golden print.
Eveningwear is extremely precious, composed of silk tulle dresses, embroidered with sumptuous motifs and decoration.
The leather is an expression of pure Florentine artisanship: jackets and trousers created in combinations of python and crocodile, enriched with stitching, inlays, and tone-on-tone paillette embroidery.
Patent shoes with a thin sculptured or wedge heel, pumps in black crocodile or snake with an overlay of micro snake netting.
The Spring/Summer 2012 show sees the debut of the ‘Florence’ bag, created as a gesture of the designer’s love for his city.
Square shapes, in crocodile, nude or black, with double handles and golden metal macro padlock, engraved with a snake scale effect.
Tue, October 4 2011 » Fashion Blog