Roberto Cavalli Menswear AW2014/15 collection exploring the ideas of freedom, adventure and love, portraying the fundamental values of the Roberto Cavalli man. The artisanal and artistic roots of the house take centre stage in a rediscovery of the designer’s intrinsic appreciation of adventure, forming an instinctive association between the worldly mindset of the modern Roberto Cavalli man and his contemporary wardrobe. It is a study of the romantic and the raw, which re-imagines not only the original philosophies of Roberto Cavalli menswear but also the classic aesthetics. The runway itself is envisaged as a young artist’s atelier, a space where dreams, imagination and creativity are free to flourish in a metaphysical landscape. Here, photographer Ruvan shoots the models as they walk, creating a sense of interactive performance art within the show.
Setting the atmospheric scene for the collection, <Categories of Being> a film created by the Los Angeles-based director Nicolas Randall for Roberto Cavalli charts the evolving understanding of the world through the eyes of the Roberto Cavalli man. While initially a harmonious part of nature and all its life, he eventually questions the physical boundaries of the planet and challenges nature by vandalising it with foreign elements until he finally sees his own metaphysical world with new eyes and purpose. Embracing all the elements of this journey, the collection plays with the contrast between the peaceful and the intrusive, the natural and the unnatural.
Drawing on this notion, materials have undergone various treatments, for instance in a coat woven in jacquard where herringbone gradually transforms into zebra print. The surface of leather in biker jackets is transformed with studs from within to appear like tropic animal skin. Variations on quilted leather featuring the same zebra print and hand-painted gilded leaves of deconstructed flowers feature on jackets, trousers and bags. Gold-laminated pony skin with a laser-cut leopard print appears on raw-cut jeans and a blazer. Additionally, velvet morphs into gabardine on the back of jackets. Napoleonic military coats hint at disorder, and animal prints flow free throughout the collection.
A free-spirited gentleman and dreamer, the Roberto Cavalli man is nomadic in his ways and artistic in his wardrobe, but always remains impeccably dressed. Razor-sharp tailoring is introduced for a constructed and structured approach to the collection, making for a slender silhouette, which is ultimately powerful and elegant while remaining contemporary. Subtle suggestions of streetwear are evident through gang codes and in accessories such as fur headpieces, cuffs and ankle cuffs, and deconstructed chain necklaces resembling bandanas, while traces of rock ‘n’ roll appear in footwear morphing creepers with formal shoes or monks, and in Chelsea boots.
A hybrid of contemporary art and fundamental values is embodied in Roberto Cavalli’s vision of print and the artisanal. The collection contains a romantic expression of landscape photography shot by Roberto Cavalli himself, and a wide proposal of the house’s archive animal prints, which have been reinterpreted and undergone new, somewhat rebellious treatment, flirting with the raw and the primal, and expressing anarchy and, at times, turmoil. Finally, brushstrokes appear in prints as an ultimate cementation of the collection’s focus on art and craftsmanship.