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 jewellery.
Print merge from tie-dye to animal demarkations and camouflage, 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.