Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Reformation of Roberto Cavalli

It's unbelievable that after all these years, Roberto Cavalli, the man who shot female sensuality and sexuality up to the highest yet unimaginable level have ditched them all and came out with an austere and safe-playing collection.

Where were the strategically-placed cutouts? Where were the super sexy silhouettes? Where were the dramatic flares of plumes, just as seen on the fall/winter 2004 collection? Where? Where?!!!

Oh dear, there were too many wheres in my mind at the time I saw the runway video. Instead of delicious extravagance and super intricate detailing (think of the fan appliqué on Victoria's evening dress circa 2006) on his clothes, all I saw on the runway was modesty.

No dangerously plunging neckline or sexy silhouettes circa 2005 to 2006, less use of chiffon, which has always been part of his trademark, and yes, no signs of Mrs. Beckham and Anggun on the front row. Save for the latter who just gave birth to a baby girl last November, I bet Victoria should be cursing in silence for this new collection.

If the spring/summer saw Cavalli reviving the hip days of the 70's with flower-power frocks, smocks, and high-waisted pants in sheer chiffon, for fall, the mood is 20 years bakwards - the Fifties. Opening the show was a picnic gown with multi-tiered ruffly white chiffon skirt and corseted bodice boasting a sweetheart neckline plus spaghetti straps. Embellishing the gown is beautiful needleworks of wisteria and mimosa in pastel hues, from the skirt right up to the gown. Typically a prom night typo.

There's a few tailored pieces like black pant suit ensemble that looks truly casual and relaxed, splashes of bright colors and traditional motifs inspired by the indigenous Peruvians, inspirations which he garnered from his trip to Peru.

No theatrical plumes were spotted and skirts are done knee-length with pleats. Tops and several dresses were modestly made with less plummeting necks while corsets are solid black with sweetheart neckline and colorful flowers appliqués surrounding the bodice.

But the broderie anglais piece, which was a black dress with cuffed collar and swathed in chiffon attained the approval nods from the guests. Ending the show were a series of vintage prom dresses a la Stepford Wives with tiered ruffles on the skirt and corseted bodice, just like the first one but sans the appearance of wisteria and mimosa embroideries. Making it a perfect look for a soon-to-be-crowned prom queen is it was accessorized with a rhinestone Tiara!

But as always, the eyes are likely to be fixed on the lacy one with plunging V-neck and adorned with small fluffy pom-poms as worn by model Lily Donaldson, suitable for the cheerleader or cheerleader-at-heart. At the end, Cavalli and his wife Eva appeared on stage together, receiving applause from his fans.

Roberto Cavalli fall/winter 2008 collection will be available at Roberto Cavalli boutiques and selected high-scale retailers worldwide starting the end of August to late September, while the spring/summer 2008 collection is available in stores now.

*Photos by Imaxtree/

Roberto Cavalli - 122B, First Floor, Plaza Senayan, Jalan Asia Afrika No.8, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Pusat, 10270 Indonesia; No.1, Nassim Road #02-00, Singapore 258458.

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