It’s all about the mix. Mixing is in, being one-note — or worse: matchy-matchy — has long since been passé. But designers need to be careful not to confuse their obsession with contrasts and unexpected stylistic combinations with a convenient catchall. To that end, Peter Dundas came this close to reducing his Roberto Cavalli collection to a heap of ad hoc haute hippie material — kimonos, patchworked denim, arts and crafts prints, animal prints, Navajo patterns, Elvis Presley style, Egyptian textiles and so on.
“I started by looking at Native American folk art, and some of the patterns reminded me of growing up in Norway — snowflakes were the same as flowers in the Navajo art,” Dundas said backstage. “It became a mix of the idea of traveling and patching together things.” All of the things — the feathers, tassels, fringed silk scarves, flared pants, slinky gowns, ponchos and patchwork — shared the common thread of being prime for the luxury bohemian gypsy if crafted at a certain level, which they were here. But the aggressive assemblages of prints, patterns and embellishment, whether on the signature Cavalli flared pants and fitted jacket silhouettes or boho gowns, often blurred to cancel out the novelty of each piece. It’s likely not the first time this phrase has been suggested to the house of Cavalli, but sometimes less is more.