Rhinestone cowgirls

Roberto Cavalli SS17
Fashion | 22 September 2016

Think The Rolling Stones’ in Marrakech, 1967. Think Humphrey Bogart’s Casablanca gin joint. Think Talitha Getty in 1969, lounging on the terrace of her Moroccan ‘Pleasure Palace’ with her caftan-clad husband John Paul Getty, Jr. Think lush intricate throws, towering palm trees and extravagant vintage chandeliers and you’ll be on the right path to imagining Peter Dundas’ SS17 mise en scène. The show may have taken place in a sixteenth century palazzo in the heart of Milan, however for that half an hour the Norwegian designer took us everywhere but.

Like an opulent Middle Eastern Souk offering “a melange of inspirations and influences, times and places,” Dundas riffed on the idea of voyagers and that covetable free-spirited gypset lifestyle with boys and girls walking side by side (silk to silk). Plucking exotic wears from their travels like bon vivant magpies, these bohemian Cavalli nomads represent a cross-culture of wanderlust society: Egyptian textiles, arts and crafts tropes, Turkish Iznik florals, Buffalo soldiers, Victorian pioneers, and African animal prints.

From the opening look – a lavish pink kimono with swaying dip-dye tassels over an embroidered waistcoat paired with patchwork suede and denim bellbottoms and an extravagant artisanal jewelled choker that would make Loulou de la Falaise swoon – Dundas laid out his stall. Here, patchwork was king and symbolic of the mix of cultures on show.

A firm believer in ‘more is more,’ Dundas’ maximalist mantra was realised in rich, luxe layering and embroidered, beaded and sequinned excess, across army jackets, victorian purses, flared denim, sheer gowns and one white suit with red floral embroidery inspired by Mr rhinestone cowboy himself, Nudie Cohn – a nod to his iconic marijuana plant and poppies embroidered suit, tailor made for Gram Parsons. Whilst Western belts and skinny scarves reminded us of Sienna Miller circa 2005, the house’s signature leopard print made an appearance in hot red and black, as seen in on a silk shirt paired with a killer thick fur and suede tasselled vest, Jennifer Herrema-style.

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show