For his menswear presentation, Roberto Cavalli reconfigured the courtyard of a palazzo on Via Cappuccio, one of Milan's most medieval streets, as the medina in Marrakech: 90 Moroccan lamps, lots of floaty fabric and sprawl space, displays of fearsome knives, and 19 looks arranged in the arcades around the garden. Roberto has passed the creative directorship of his men's collection to his son Daniele. He brings to his father's attenuated tailoring the sensibility of a young man who is partial to the drama of the dark side. Nick Cave provided the soundtrack, and those fearsome knives were the crux of the collection.
Inspired by the notion that the suit evolved from military uniforms, Daniele imagined "the gentleman contrasted with the warrior: honor, fierceness, pride." Standing in for the blade of the warrior was a collection of knives, spanning centuries, from Lorenzi, Milan's world expert on the subject. Using his teleidoscope (it creates kaleidoscopic patterns of anything you look at it with), Daniele transformed images of the knives into geometric patterns that were printed on silks, woven into jacquards, or elaborately embossed on a leather biker. Sufficiently abstracted, the knife pattern looked like zebra, a reference to Cavalli's signature animal prints. A white poplin shirt offered the pattern in a variant of broderie anglaise. On another shirt, silver and red Lurex were threaded through black to suggest the flash of a blade.
After all that, how could the new Cavalli man have looked anything but razor sharp? Rankin's lookbook shots accurately nailed the lean, mean glamour of these clothes for young villains.