MILAN (AP) — David Bowie's pioneering rock 'n' roll femininity is gaining currency, still after decades, on fashion runways and was strongly evident in Peter Dundas' menswear premier for the Roberto Cavalli fashion house.
"Where do I begin?" Dundas said when asked about Bowie's influence on his designs after the show Friday evening.
"Bowie's almost always on my mood board and I was completely shocked and crushed and saddened when I heard about his passing and I thought about Imam, of course, as well. It felt like the beginning of the end of something very, very important, stylistically and musically and in iconography as well."
The looks previewed during Milan Fashion Week of menswear previews for the next cold weather season embraced feminine touches in ways familiarized by Bowie, tempered with masculine features. Sheer shirts adorned with silver beading were paired with a tweed jacket, or silken floral scarves knotted below the neck with an open front polka-dotted shirt and suede jacket, and even embroidered black velour jacket over corduroy flairs.
Winter is a parade of luxury, from oversized animal-print furs worn over Norwegian-patterned scarves and sweaters, to rich reptile-skin coats and jackets in contrasting stripes of color worn with jeans.
A long, sweeping coat draped casually cool over the shoulders, flowing down into open-slit arms, both evoking superstars of 1960s and '70s rock and contrasting pointedly with the crystal chandeliers and Canaletto originals in the Napoleon-era Crespi Palace where the show took place. Discordantly fitting, sneakers finished the looks.
It was Dudas' first menswear collection as creative director, and the Norwegian-American designer said he tried to be honest "with what I know and what I don't know," sticking to clothes that he and his friends would like to wear.
Dundas' assignment at Cavalli, which he joined last year from Pucci, is to creatively evolve the fashion house through its planned global expansion, building on the brand's jean and glam-rock roots.
Menswear will be central to the expansion, CEO Renato Semerari said before the show, with plans to grow its contribution from less than 10 percent of revenues to 25 percent over the next five years. Among the projects on the horizon, Dundas said a men's frangrance will be coming out later in the year.
"I think the Cavalli vibe is unique and I think the Cavalli man is as well," Dundas said. "There are a lot of things to feel very excited about."