MFW: ROBERTO CAVALLI S/S 2014

Roberto Cavalli has always been one of my top five favorite designers and I look forward to his shows season after season. This morning, he re-asserted why he deserves to hold that position with a collection he referred to as “Cavalliwood,” his take on Hollywood glamour from the 1920s.

Hold it right there, though. If you’re expecting simple re-expressions of flapper dresses you’re going to be disappointed. This is Roberto Cavalli; nothing is ever simple nor is it merely a re-expression. His vision is totally his own, his aesthetic one that inevitably inspires awe.

To start, Cavalli’s silhouettes don’t stray from his typical style. Separates still favor holding tight to the body, even with t-shirt styled tops. Slacks come with rolled up cuffs, jackets finely tailored, and shorts came with really cool tasseled stockings. Dresses had a bit more variety, with a few being uncharacteristically full and flowing, but the majority were, again, very form fitting, with plenty of flare toward the bottom of gowns.

What makes this collection incredible, however, is the amazing amount of detailed bead work on everything. Slacks, jackets, gowns, tops, and the mandatory fringe are all beaded with art deco designs in such detail as to inspire awe. Emphasizing the touch are beaded tassel necklaces and similar tassels decorating hand bags. The effect is most dramatic on the silver pieces that started the show, and the inevitable black toward the end. While beaded details on powder pink, green, and sky blue dresses is lovely, it is the silver, tope, and black pieces that had the final walk looking something like 40 versions of the Chrysler building on parade.

Along the way, Cavalli is sure to insert sufficient amounts of lace and sheer, bolero jackets, and some strappy how-the-hell-do-you-put-those-on shoes that one expects from a Cavalli collection. Fur stoles are tossed on a couple of the last pieces because, if we’re doing 1920s Hollywood, the touch is a necessity.

Long on glamour and long on fringe, this is yet another beautiful Cavalli collection that causes one to eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring.

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