Prior to his brand's fall winter 2014/5 show, Roberto Cavalli posed for photos on the runway and talked to Now Fashion about menswear and his brand's identity.
"Men's collections are [in general] so boring. I try not to make it boring," he said.
Over the years, he admitted, defining the DNA of his menswear line has presented him with a conundrum.
"For the first time, I thought for many years that it was designed for one guy: a rock star. Then it was a man with a beautiful woman. That was a mistake."
One day he invited about 40 close friends to his studio. The group, he said, included one of the best rock bands in the world (he wouldn't disclose their name). Known to have rubbed elbows with a stream of rock greats like the Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, Cavalli's brand was undoubtedly built on rock 'n' roll inspiration.
"They told me that it is Cavalli," he said. "It's exactly what I wanted to hear."
A short film by Los Angeles-based Brit Nicolas Randall got the show rolling. A man lost in the desert is afflicted by the mystery of nature, and is resurrected like a mythical phoenix when he finally finds his purpose.
Nomadic designs like tribal-printed knit robes, headbands, intricately embroidered sweatshirts, studded belts and vandalized and thrashed-looking denim supported the idea of a free spirit.
Classic patterns like herringbone were distorted into zebra print, facilitating the transition from day to night.
Tailored looks like blazers and jackets made of black velvet and gabardine infused this line with romantic depth and a more wearable, mainstream edge.
But in the end, wild pieces like gold silky leopard print slacks and multi-colored fur coats for men, showed the crowd that Cavalli himself is very much the rock element in his own brand.
"It's Cavalli. You like it or you don't like it," he said.