Roberto Cavalli at Pitti: abstract animalier rules

It felt like Noah’s Ark in Florence Wednesday evening at the gala runway show of Roberto Cavalli, so numerous were the animal prints.


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Roberto Cavalli - Spring-Summer2019 - Menswear - Florence - © PixelFormula



In a finely judged display of contemporary menswear, the house’s creative director Paul Surridge sent out his first ever full menswear collection. His previous men’s ideas were incorporated into joint co-ed Cavalli shows in Milan.
 
Staged in the Certosa di Firenze, a magnificent monastery in the hills above Florence, the show was also all about a return home for Roberto Cavalli, as the founder was born in Tuscany.
 
“I wanted it to be about immediacy. 2020 will represent fifty years since the founding of Roberto Cavalli. So, this evening I wanted a collection made for 2018 and not 2004, or 1989” said the British-born Surridge.
 
Three themes were apparent throughout: artisanal quality, yet married to contemporary flamboyance; animalier, the French term for animal prints; and bold printing.
 
“Roberto Cavalli is a printing house par excellence. Signor Cavalli invented lots of techniques in printing and I want to embrace that. Cavalli will always be a rock-n-roll brand, but to me Rock is an attitude and not a style,” argued Surridge.

Just like the most dashing star of his front row Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis. The son of Daniel Day-Lewis and Isabelle Adjani, looking great in a pearl gray Cavalli silk shirt in an alligator print.
 
However, this show opened in all white, only gradually blending in elements of animal prints, and then mostly in highly abstract colors. Eventually, the show unveiled a complete men’s wardrobe: denim, trousers, blazers, leather jerkins, jeans, jackets, trenches and several marvelous spolverini – the Italian term for a Western duster.
 
Surridge revisited the icons of this house, with very fluid viscose jerkins; trucker jackets in white python; bold clubbing looks and some great white jackets embroidered with artful cross stitching, covered in good luck charms such as the new RC logo.
 
Blanket-stitched trenches also featured animal contrasting prints – inside and outside and out of focus. While several suits came in abstract zebra gingham.
 
Backed up by a great mélange soundtrack – a mix of two female artists – Bjork and Missy Eliott, an intellectual rocker with a rapper, all staged in the cloistered courtyard of a monastery. Worn on a global cast in a global vision of a global community in an elegiac moment above the great Renaissance capital.
 
Cavalli’s CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris recently inked a new sneaker deal and the result were new aerodynamic sneakers and python sneaker boots with python-print high-tech soles.
 
For funkier moments, Surridge also sent out long boarding denim ideas with dude-style jeans finished with printed trim and cuffs; and some great nylon blousons in a print made up of 70s retro gold and silver Casio watches.
 
“The true meaning of luxury is time,” laughed Surridge, who said his real goal was the “millennial mindset; clothes that are vigorous and very wearable.”
 
“Today, buyers in the main e-commerce sites are often 27 years old, so one has to respond to their taste and our time,” he concluded.

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