In 1974, singer Cher graced the red carpet of the Met Gala in a custom made Bob Mackie dress. Sheer with some white feathers and sparkling beading, the dress provided inspiration for one Kim Kardashian for the Met Gala, 31 years later. Peter Dundas, now the creative director of Roberto Cavalli, did the honours of designing the 2015 redux of the piece. Controversially, I thought Kim looked great (but there’ll always be naysayers when the Kardashian name is involved, regardless of what or who she’s wearing). If Dundas’ first creation was anything to go by, I was immensely excited for his Spring 2016 collection, presented during Milan Fashion Week in September.
The collection, I felt, transported back to Spring 2010. The pink, tie-dye denim dress (which was awesome) and the billowing aqua, ruffled skirt, instantly reminded me of that time. The bleached colours and tie-dye are distinctly 2010 to me. Peach, aqua, bubblegum pink, lilac, olive, burgundy.
The aforementioned flowing skirt and denim dress were some of the strongest looks in the collection. Avery Blanchard’s white one-shouldered bandeau with a large bow on the shoulder was over-the-top, but I loved it all the same. Karly Loyce’s pistachio green T-shirt dress with its cutout was another standout.
There was a handful of looks that exemplified why Dundas was chosen for this position. He blended, perfectly, the Roberto Cavalli ethos with his own brand. The heavily beaded and embellished tank dress with oversized sleeves and the frayed-hem one-shouldered mini traced back to Dundas’ Pucci days but don’t look out of place in a Cavalli collection. I may not have loved it all, but there’s no denying Dundas is in the right place.
Comparing one designers work to another’s is a pet peeve of mine. To make an exception, I can see Decarnin’s Balmain in this collection. The holes in the slouchy sweaters. The sleeveless biker jackets, the heavily distressed denim and dresses with beading and tassels. Dundas did attempt to add his own spin. A bubble of leather was added to a dress, animal print to the jackets.
Speaking with Vogue in August, Dundas said that “[he thinks] Kim represents a certain aspect of the Cavalli woman in her sensuality and unapologetic celebration of her body.” The words “femininity” and “desire” also popped up in the interview. That preamble to this collection induced some critical afterthought following the collection. Dundas did achieve the sensual celebration of the body in most looks. It’s the word “desire” that irked me. I don’t think a woman would “desire” a ghastly chartreuse dress with a flowing train, or a peach mini dress with frilly sleeves giving the appearance of a quarterback’s shoulder pads. Those were some of the disasters in this collection. Greatly, it was undesirable, which is a true shame.