Fall 2009: Roberto Cavalli's spaghetti Southwestern
Roberto Cavalli's fall 2009 show today was the most subdued men's collection I can remember, without the usual zoo-ful of animal skins and prints. Yes, there were leathers and fur to go around and a gray suit with a snakeskin-like texture made of God only knows what. But it wasn't over the top. Nor were there the usual caliber of celebrities from past seasons. One of my ink-stained compatriots even remarked on the way out of the show: "There isn't even any Parmesan or Prosecco!" in reference to the refreshments Cavalli usually has on hand for the masses to munch on. Perhaps the restraint — fiscal and design-wise — is a result of the economic climate.
It's hard to tell if Cavalli's homage/appropriation of the Southwestern U.S. aesthetic — a wood and Navajo rug set piece with antlers over the stone fireplace that looked straight out of Tucson — will register elsewhere (a colleague with the German edition of the Financial Times remarked that it reminded him of the interior of a Swiss chalet).
But the blend of cowboy and Indian (or perhaps bovine-American vs. Native American?) motifs was unmistakable, the woven Navajo rug design
appearing on slippers as well as trousers that had leather pieces patched in so that from the back it appeared the wearer was sporting a pair of chaps.
Western-style cloth ties, wide metallic belt buckles and studded chunks of bling that looked like freshly panned gold nuggets were the finishing touches that hammered home Cavalli's OK Corral collection.
The way things are going, the industry could use a gold rush right about now.
— Adam Tschorn
Photos: Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2009 Menswear collection, Jan. 18, 2009, by Peter Stigter