The power of the body, a strength in motion. For his Spring/Summer 2019 Roberto Cavalli collection creative director Paul Surridge celebrates the physicality of the body to create a collection dedicated to dynamic, energetic movement. A new generation of Cavalli for a new generation of women.
Skin shows, but is used as a graphic device – a natural evolution of body-consciousness. Asymmetry and geometric cut-outs around the torso transform the display of skin into pattern, an exercise in sensuality rather than sexuality. The contours of the body are boldly delineated: tailoring is compact, and stretch fabrics – embroideries on jersey, knits – have a sensitivity to the body, to its needs.
The focus is on the legs and the core, the force of the body, emphasised by short hemlines and a tailored torso, a youthful proportion. High-performance sportswear influences, brief, fitted shorts streamlining silhouettes, lending them a confidence. The collection is muscular, poised.
That idea of movement lead to the nomad, a constant inspiration at Roberto Cavalli. Today’s nomad is also an athlete; she is emblematic of travel, of freedom. A journey through Northern Africa results in fresh approaches to craft, to colour and textile, to the abstract idea of exoticism. The evoke a sense of shift.
The hallmarks of Roberto Cavalli – artisanship, handcraft, animal print, sensuality – are all present, but reengineered for today. These are combined with Paul Surridge’s own heritage in menswear – specifically tailoring – to create a new mix with a focus on daywear. Leather and silk are handwoven, silver paillette embroideries emphasise gesture. A new patchwork technique is applied to python and cavallino is coated with an aluminium treatment. Animalier play with scale, combining abstractions of breeds into a new hybrid.
Jewellery and accessories are bold. Toes are chisel, heels scissored into sharp angles on ankle-boots and sandals, sometimes wrapped with jersey. A new Cavalli sneaker, named the Viper and introduced in the men’s collection, crosses to womenswear. It underscores the pace of the collection.
Handbags bear a new Cavalli logotype, of two C’s in nailhead studs sinuously interlinked like a serpent, a Cavalli emblem that appears on earrings and necklaces, combined with other styles directly drawn from heritage. Sunglasses are visor-styles, flashed with iridescence like reptile skin.
For Spring/Summer 2019, Roberto Cavalli questions the modern meanings of femininity, body-consciousness, of luxury. Here, femininity means power. Luxury means confidence.