A quiet, gentler Roberto Cavalli

This season’s big one was the arrival of Paul Surridge at Roberto Cavalli, as the British-born talent takes over the job of resurrecting the famed Florentine house.


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Roberto Cavalli - Spring-Summer 2018 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

Judging from the applause, this was a successful first step. Surridge certainly respected the house's DNA, playing with many of Cavalli’s traditional leitmotifs, albeit with a great deal of moderation.

He sent out lots of the house’s signature zebra print, though in relatively simple clothes – from biker jackets to trench-coats; using it in huge shawl collars on otherwise black silk tuxedos. And even including animal prints in pointy flat shoes.
 
He kept the rock-n-roll attitude but devoid of rebellion – with many long, open-shouldered columns. In a house famed for its color-drenched prints, his opening looks were all in black. His coolest idea was a series of bone and shell bustiers. Plus, his Africa-inspired ebony wood and gold bracelets and earrings all showed great taste.
 
Staging the show in an open, airy tent in the city’s grand Parco Sempione was also smart; adding the sense of a fresh direction.
 
“I have two great children, but this feels like the birth of the third. Paul has worked incredibly hard and we are very confident,” smiled Cavalli’s CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris.
 
The show marked the first runway outing by Cavalli since its previous designer Peter Dundas left the house last October.
 
At the end, Surridge took a long bow, walking 50 meters down the white runway to greet Roberto Cavalli, who embraced him like a son. The reaction from the audience was loud and lengthy.
 
“I thought it was serious, stylish and a complete collection. I liked it a lot. And I am excited by what Paul is dong,” Cavalli told FashionNetwork.com as he exited the show.
 

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