Daniele Cavalli's reign at his family label hasn't done much to dampen its lounge-lizard leanings. Nor should it. Cavalli is all about molto, and, as that spiritual style guide, the Bible, reminds us, it's best to honor thy father. So for his latest collection for Roberto's menswear label, young Daniele plunged deep into the flora and fauna motifs that are a house tradition. He's capable of moments of dramatic virtuosity, like the exotic-skin jacket in an undulating chevron pattern he compared to the back of a snake (chevron being one of the collection's major themes, as well as the motif on its runway).
But the younger Cavalli had also softened his touch from Spring, rounding down shoulders and loosening trouser legs, and this went for the animal prints too. There was no shortage of rebel yell here—loudest and clearest in pieces like a chartreuse, shawl-collared suit—but it was more appealing to see Cavalli pipe the family tune in a subtler way. He transposed croc skin into croc patterning on a velvet smoking blazer, tiger stripes into a tonal motif on a leather bomber, leopard spots into jacquard on a jacket. He created an abstract pattern from a scan of feathers—two of which he wore around his neck. "Everything is inside, if you want to see it," he explained, holding up the amulet for inspection.
When what once was macro went micro—as in the case of those subtler patterns—the collection was strongest. Backstage, Cavalli and stylist Robert Rabensteiner showed the lineup to the serpentine rocker Lulu Gainsbourg, son of Serge, whom, like Daniele himself, it would not be hard to imagine in many of the looks. The two together suggested that sensuality doesn't skip a generation, but it does temper its volume.