The time has come, finally, to relinquish this Roberto C@valli silk beauty that has had a prized place in my fabric stash for quite a while now.
Nothing I say, and none of the images, will be adequate enough to really communicate how stunning this fabric is. I can but try.
Straight from the Italian mills, this is a true designer fabric in the best sense of the word. The garments made from this sort of print on such quality fabric end up being priced in the one or two thousand bracket. C@valli especially was/is renowned for brilliant print designs and ‘presence’ in clothes. Some designs have been just much too much, but then like a seam of gold running through everything, great designs are there to be mined.
The print starts with an off-white base. The first print is a light brown background picking up some outlines of an animal print, like a cross-section of tiger print strategically placed over the background.
On top of this, two different themed prints are layered: the brilliant butterflies and flowers, saturated in colours, setting off the background perfectly, then some etched and outlined motifs, especially the liliums.
Somehow it just all works. Scale, balance, surprise. It is a very confident print.
The silk is lightweight but substantial, a tight, dense weave, very soft, very fluid, brilliant for draping, for lots of volume if you want it, and completely opaque.
Now, what to make out of a fabric like this, with a large scale pattern? It is a fabric to respect, but not be intimidated by. At its simplest, you could make a long kimono type robe to throw on when you get up in the morning. Or a caftan, that would work really well.
But you can opt for other things. This Vivienne Westwood dress shows a pattern with a bit of scale. Some well-placed seams move the pattern around. This dress would be equally effective in a shorter length.
This C@valli silk is 145cm wide, and the length is 2.2 metres. I paid what was a small fortune at the time for this fabric, but I will price it lower than I paid at $60 a metre/$132 for the piece.
I can post this fabric in the small satchel for $8.25. Please see here for full details on payment and posting. If interested, please click on the email link below; fabric details will appear automatically and I will get back to you asap. (Australia delivery only thanks).