Roberto Cavalli Finds Balance with FW19

The Fall 2019 Ready To Wear line showcased variance to cater to a new kind of luxury consumer.

Roberto Cavalli stands as an esteemed Italian fashion house with deep history and great potential for the future. In July 2017, when it named Paul Surridge as its new creative director, he was tasked with rebirthing the brand and tailoring it to a new generation of luxury consumers. With the introduction of the 2019 Fall Ready To Wear line, Surridge is proving to be the right man at the helm and a master of fashion navigation, leading the way with another successful voyage in Milan.

This line is the ultimate balancing act. Upon first impression, the line is a confident statement of strength, incorporating leather and white denim into trench coats, high-waisted pants and tight button downs. There are bold uses of shape, widening the body in billowing dresses and wide-armed turtleneck jackets. The line is not tough in its entirety: Surridge counteracts some of the garments’ rigidity with quite a bit of shine, covering blazers and dress bodices in sequins and metallic appliqués. Power and luster were not mutually exclusive; the men’s and women’s collections played with elements of adornment and practicality, blurring the boundaries between traditional gendered self-expression. The garments highlight sharp lines with their structure, while relying on loud prints for movement and flair.

The brand stayed true to its heritage in prints, utilizing a waveform tiger print motif, ranging in color and shifting through gender and garment-type as the show progressed. This print’s first appearance hits you with a barrage of colors in the opening double-breasted coat and departs in a warm, marble-like button down under a white suit. A black and blue variant and turquoise snake skin print added boldness and subtlety to long-sleeved dresses and leather jackets. This print evolution showcases a central theme of the show: self-expression is subject to reinvention but relies on the same foundation throughout its iterations. Roberto Cavalli needed to find a balance between its roots and the direction of the future. It made a line that would speak to the status that its brand and its modern consumers occupy in the new world of fashion – legends in flux.


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