The designer retail climate is in a dodgy state at the moment. Brands are scurrying to anticipate what women want to buy but are failing miserably to get those cash registers chi-chinging. What women want right now is money, but if they do have the cash and are willing to part with it, Roberto Cavalli and Plein Sud are two brands they’re happy to buy. What’s a better anecdote in a depressed economy compounded by political turmoil than to turn up the heat on your man-eating sex appeal? Cavalli and Plein Sud are readily pleasing this indulgence; less is boring for these guys. Cavalli’s Italian glitz shine in heavily printed chiffon dresses and satin skirts and Plein Sud’s randy French flavor translate into asymmetrical leather skirts and draped jersey fluid tops, just the attention grabbers women are seeking to giddily flaunt their defiance of any signs of restraint. The look is expensive; the message is trashy; and the results are obviously successful because both brands continue to soar in sales and visibility. Celebrities including Mary J. Blige, Angie Harmon and Jennifer Lopez are devotees and if you look closely you’ll notice where the high street stores are seeking their knockoff inspiration.
- Tina Ciotti
Photo: Roberto Cavalli Spring 2003