MFW: Birds Of A Feather Flock Together At Roberto Cavalli
Roberto Cavalli is the king of the jungle, and the luxuriate’s creative director Fausto Puglisi proved that a leopard never changes its spots
For those who lived through the hedonism of the 70s, they can attest to the primal instincts that underpinned every second of a discotheque. Extravagance and opulence were the compulsory uniform for late-night revellers, though the carnal liberation and hoard of sweaty bodies moving through the space often felt more like a licentious jungle.
For Roberto Cavalli’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, presented during Milan Fashion Week, the house’s creative director Fausto Puglisi worked to evoke this sense of palpable energy with a collection akin to the ensembles worn for a night at Copacabana.
Staged under a canopy of lush palm fronds and monsteras, Roberto Cavalli transported us back in time to an era post-Slim Aaron’s excess and pre-corporate conservatism for a collection that supplanted our clothing as a form of sartorial skin.
Casting his eye across the savanna and tropical rainforest, Puglisi reminded us that Roberto Cavalli is the king of the jungle, and a leopard—the ubiquitous predator atop the food chain—can never change its spots.
Looking back to Cavalli’s origins, Puglisi explored 70s silhouettes through the lens of animal motifs. None more prominent than the pink flamingo feather, which can also be read as a reference to the black comedy and outrageously perverse cult-classic film of the same name.
The first few looks brought Riviera affluence to the fold with flitting maxi dresses or merengue-ready minis. The feathered theme was either printed directly onto the garments to create a sense of perennial movement or jutted out as a physical manifestation of the idea.
These pieces also heavily featured fringing with the edges of the sleeves dangling like tassels which furthered the avian abstract. Later in the collection, Puglisi looked to the archetypes of Roberto Cavalli; python print bell-bottom trousers, deep-cut caftans in hypnotic hues and ab-baring separates.
The collection had an innate motion, but one that promoted ease and wearability with everything from the laced accent leather to technically netted swimsuit material with earthly finishes.
Much like the debauched and unregulated style of the 70s, Puglisi explored extreme contrasts, whether this be styling full-coverage trousers with a sheer shirt and rockstar-approved feathered coat, or combining structured leather and hand-made crochet in the same look for a cocktail of textures.
One highlight came in the form of Cher’s signature crossed halter neck top and flared pants getting a modern makeover in the form of a black variation littered with diamanté embellishments.
While other designers are turning to stealth wealth style or quiet luxury, Roberto Cavalli just delivered a masterclass in overabundance. A surplus of drama and indulgence. Truly Roberto Cavalli; bold, fierce and unapologetic.