Remember “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song to “Rocky III” by the rock band Survivor? It came to mind watching the Roberto Cavalli show, where designer Fausto Puglisi cleverly incorporated the face of this gorgeous wild cat into his frisky, animal-print-heavy collection.
This original take on a print you’ve seen a zillion times had you watching the show for the eye of the tiger: fronting a big ballgown or a miniskirt here, on the right breast on a snug jersey top there. The designer cited a slipdress from the early Aughts worn by by Cindy Crawford as the springboard for the spring 2022 collection.
Puglisi went wild with the tiger theme, perhaps a little too wild with the wicked, claw-like heels on pumps and the gorgeous metallic brocades that were slashed to smithereens.
But you have to admire his guts and design chops for finding something new to say with nature’s most arresting camouflage motifs.
There were tiger-motif dresses with gouged-out midriffs or nosebleed side slits for steamy editorials and music stars, and handsome and regal robes and strong-shouldered blazers for a woman who walks on the elegant side of wild. Young hipsters might go for the combat boots festooned with gold piercings dangling curved fangs, or a slinky black slipdress that eventually yielded to leopard spots.
This was only Puglisi’s second collection for Cavalli, and his first live runway show in a series of rooms at the baroque Palazzo Clerici, which he roughed up with clear plastic painting tarp and a rugged wooden boardwalk.
He’s clearly not holding back on a brand synonymous with extroverts, whittling down dresses to mere cobwebs of fabric and hardware, and adding ostrich plumes on top of his crystal-paved evening clothes.
Suddenly, all those bra tops parading under suits on other runways seem rather tame.