The house of Roberto Cavalli was where Dundas trained to become the designer that he is today - and it felt like everything that he had crafted at Emilio Pucci was now back on home turf. Opening the Rock 'n' roll hippy canon which he used to reignite Pucci, this collection saw an update. Dundas's DNA has evolved in line with today's idea of dress. No longer purely catering for the jet-set yacht-ready crowd - as an aesthetic - his designs serve the same purpose but feel more era appropriate. The conspicuous consumption of thigh high body-con party dresses are gone - and a layered laid back Bohemia worked to avoid the grotesques of the bourgeoisie. A tough brief at Cavalli - but it's interesting to watch how the most ostentatious of houses is answering the call of the new cool.
Dundas talked about glamour in the show notes, making the point that he feels it's often an overlooked fact that 'glam is short for glamourous.' With this in mind, he strategically side stepped into the world of 'glam' rock. References within the counter culture of the seventies music scene - he was also talking about Led Zeppelin album covers - saw Dundas acquire equity values of creative integrity, and a slightly less arrested grip of the male gaze.
Apart from one gold spun dress, worn with trompe l'oeil festival boots, everything was full length - as Dundas announced this collection was 'an ode to the louche, lean and sinuous silhouette.' Sequin scarves, long beaded dresses, intarsia furs and embroidered flares all extended the line, whilst gold bullion embroidered jackets, and tiger bombers, added baroque splashes. In parts, last season looked fairly high-street, whilst this is the collection that the high-street could but dream of recreating.
This label totally has the potential to align itself with the dressing up box worlds of Gucci, McQueen and Valentino - and do it Cavalli's way. The brand has its own equity within escapism, mystery and myth - it needs to claim back its serpent motif from Gucci, for a start! Whilst I'll never be a Cavalli girl, I like the honesty of this collection. With myriad references within agenda driven art history being used as a position to market sumptuous ideals of wealth - by many opinion formers within fashion - this felt free of ambiguity. It subversively felt like it had more heart.