Synonymous with items such as snakeskin blousons, bootleg pants and demonstrative dinner jackets, men’s wear at Roberto Cavalli has never been for everyman.
That’s still the case under the creative direction of Peter Dundas, whose spunky and opulent debut effort was also partial to purple, fey scarves, dense floral embellishments, Fair Isle knits and other signposts of the peacock.
Still, the shoes were decidedly pared back this season. The signature Converse Chuck Taylor low-top, though unclear if it was an official collaboration or not, was finished in colors and prints that mimicked the ready-to-wear scheme.
Modern it wasn’t, rooted in the bohemian, Seventies vibe that Dundas plies so well, and personifies with his rock star curls, dark glasses and loping gait. During a preview, he made it clear he designed the collection with himself partly in mind. “I’m taking a very personal point of view,” he said.
It was part Haight-Ashbury, part guitar hero, part androgyny, echoing the ambiguous sexuality that Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has popularized across so many runways. While honoring the founder’s legacy of animal prints and intense handiwork, Dundas left behind the flash, bling — and occasional tackiness — in favor of a younger, more romantic spirit.
Paraded in the sumptuous Palazzo Crespi, the show also featured a handful of women’s looks — elaborately beaded or ruffled gowns styled with snakeskin high-tops and vintage-look furs. Think Coachella on a millionaire budget.
“I looked at many musicians, like Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, Serge Gainsbourg, Jimi Hendrix and also George Harrison — my favorite of The Beatles,” Dundas noted.
While unabashedly retro, the high-energy show made for a fun start to men’s fashion week in Milan, which runs through Tuesday.
[With contributions from Christian Allaire].