“Wanderlust” is the name of Peter Dundas’ second collection for Roberto Cavalli and the title is certainly fitting. There’s a little bit of everything in this bohemian collection that travels from the American West to South America and Asia and back across Europe, picking up little bits and pieces here and there, mashing them together so that one can’t pinpoint the exact origin of anything. The looks are busy, bright, and colorful, very light, very full, and oh so 1970s. Which is fine except for the fact that everyone did these looks last year and, on the whole, we’re rather over the experience now, thank you.
What Dundas does, though, is bring some of this season’s trends to bear, so this particular bohemian collection is different from everyone else’s bohemian collection because the skirts are so much fuller and light weight. Men’s shirts are longer, open to the navel, and made of the lightest fabrics. Everyone can have a scarf if they want one, there are copious amounts of floral embroidery and long fringe, and oh, the orange crushed velvet pants on the very first look were just too much!
This collection is better than last season, which isn’t necessarily saying that much. At least with this collection, we’re not worried that Dundas might have gone mad from sniffing too much seam glue. The looks are cohesive and include the most popular trends, which is important. Okay, so the whole bohemian thing wreaks of last year. At least he didn’t do that for five looks then jump to something else. We have to give him a little credit here, right?
The clothes walk well, too. Remember last season when several of the skirts posed tripping hazards for the models? No one had that trouble this evening. This collection is put together much better. It’s good to see Dundas starting to get the hang of things a bit. I even like his use of chiffon in several creative places. He might just get there yet.
What still disappoints me, though, is how far he is from the Roberto Cavalli aesthetic. That high-energy, feel-good, party-til-you-drop touch Cavalli spent years refining is nowhere to be found. This is a totally different brand. If that’s what Dundas wants to create, wonderful. Let him do it on is own label. Retire the Cavalli line and leave us with the memories. This isn’t Roberto Cavalli, though, and it is almost insulting to the designer and his reputation to put his label on these clothes.
With all the struggle that Italian luxury brands are experiencing, the label needed something other than a trend chaser; there are already too many of those in the market. We would have much rather seen Dundas step up with something completely new and different than copying everyone else’s Spring/Sumer 2016 collection.
Let’s hope this tone changes soon.