The German/Korean accessorises juggernaut, MCM, rolled into Florence to showcase its first, full ready-to-wear fashion collection. Driven by the Asian consumer and the power this brings, MCM is finally making in-roads into the European and global luxury goods market.
Two dancers, surrounded by falling precipitation, welcomed us into the darkened show space. Their breakdancing quickly made way for a collection that was strong on festival fashion. Designed by an in-house team, the ’Luft Collection’, meaning air in German, was multifunctional sportswear for the genderless generation.
Left - Will MCM's new ready-to-wear collection be cool enough for Glastonbury when it returns next year?
Think Glastonbury for the moneyed, rock ’n’ roll offspring elite who aren’t afraid to be noticed for having money. Lots of straps, pockets and hoods in bright, holographic and reflective fabrics. Your Deliveroo 3M was here, plus ribbon belts and elasticated and Velcro fastenings at the waist and wrists allowing the wearer to quickly adapt to their festival needs.
This is the type of collection British brand, Hunter, has tried to do before, when they dabbled with the catwalk, but the difference is MCM already has this young, hungry consumer.
I’m not really a fan of MCM’s Benidorm-tan signature colour, but this took a back seat here. This was young and I’m guessing more accessibly priced.
I can see the holdalls with a large rubber MCM on the bottom proving popular plus the runner-sandal with a breathable a waterproof integrated sock.
This type of collection will grow the brand into the more practical side of summer fashion and make product choice available for those consumers who don’t want anything heavily studded or branded, or both!
Pitti Uomo welcomed the continued relaunch of Roberto Cavalli’s menswear and the company really needs this to fly. Now under the creative direction of Paul Surridge, the British designer formerly at Jil Sander and Z Zegna, Cavalli, as a brand, has gone through something of a rocky patch. After moving the HQ from Florence to Milan, under the short lived leadership of Peter Dundas, they let nearly a third of their workforce go. It’s now back to Florence and this was Surridge’s second full collection of menswear.
Right - Blurred digital prints and bad denim at Roberto Cavalli for SS19
Up in the hills, outside of Florence, in the refined surrounds of the Florence Charterhouse, this monastic setting saw a collection that ran from white to black with the brand’s famous animalistic signatures in-between.
This was a new, slicker and sporty Cavalli with the animals skins subtly layered rather than trowelled on, like in previous years. Gone was the boho, overly beaded Cavalli and in its place was something for a new customer that continues to buy into ‘designer’ fashion, but wants ease and wearability.
Reptiles, fish, (alien?) skins were jacquarded into fabrics. Leopard print was digital yet blurred and knitwear was finished with broken threads hanging down.
There was a nod to the current bad denim fashion and add the snakeskin boots, which Cavalli should really own, it referenced the Martine Roses and Balenciagas of this world.
One of the standout pieces was a tapestry intarsia coat covered in the Cavalli logo and good luck talisman. A digital watch print added humour and the python soled trainers looked almost aquatic as they breathed past.
As we went into the black and final evening section, bugle beads were applied in constrained vertical lines. It was all very controlled and refined.
I like this new Cavalli, it feels fresher and more contemporary. But, is this is what their current and loyal customer wants? If not, they need to find a new one and fast. Maybe those good luck talisman have a deeper meaning.