x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Catching up with Cavalli in Dubai - his 'second home'

The fashion designer Roberto Cavalli was recently in the UAE at his eponymous restaurant Cavalli Club in Dubai. We caught up with him.

The Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli outside the Cavalli Club in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
The Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli outside the Cavalli Club in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

The fashion designer Roberto Cavalli was recently in the UAE at his eponymous restaurant Cavalli Club in Dubai. We caught up with him.

Welcome back. How does it feel to be enjoying a break in the UAE again?

Dubai is like my second home. I exaggerate a bit, of course, but I feel really good when I'm here. As for the restaurant and club itself, whenever I arrive in town I enjoy seeing it. Although, decorating this space was a very long and hard process. As I sit here now, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were designing and opening it. And each time I visit, I see there are new touches and, maybe, I see little changes we can make.

By the way, I don't visit any other clubs - in Dubai or elsewhere. It's actually not my style to go out like that. I just come here because I feel really comfortable and because I feel the people love me.

As a designer, what do you make of Gulf fashion?

The Emirati ladies and their fashion are beautiful. Women here love to wear black outside and they hide the colour on the inside and it's fantastic when I see the flash of a Cavalli evening gown or Cavalli jeans at the hem of an abaya. I love to see the contrast and the personality behind the clothes.

Define a well-dressed woman.

A beautifully dressed woman, hmm, it's hard to say. I think it has a lot to do with deportment. Sometimes one of my dresses will look fabulous on one woman and I might like it much less on a different girl. It depends on how the girl wears the dress, how she feels inside.

Which of your peers do you particularly admire?

I don't have any designers that I admire. Except myself.

Will you be spending the summer in Italy?

Yes, for sure.

On your 133-foot yacht?

I think so. [laughs]

Will you be entertaining any famous friends?

Oh yes, all the time. I'm not sure exactly who will come this year, but maybe Halle Berry - but of course she's waiting for the baby and it's due in October, so we don't know yet.

What will you be eating this evening at Cavalli?

Hmm, tonight, tonight, tonight. Not sure, but let me tell you what I had last night. I ate a fantastic meal here, of sea bass covered in salt. I really loved how they did it. And, between you and me, they also know how to cook one of my very favourite dishes in the restaurant. It's a very simple spaghetti - I don't like fussy spaghetti with too many elements. I just want it plain, with wonderful tomatoes - like my cook at home prepares - with a small piece of butter and some good Parmesan. It's the best. And to start with, tonight, I'll probably have some caviar, as well.

What message would you like to send to UAE residents who frequent your restaurant and club in Dubai?

I feel humble when I come here to the UAE and I would like them to feel the same when they come to Milan. We have such a wonderful, fantastic place there, too, called Just Cavalli Milano - I invite everyone here to come there. It's not as big as Dubai, but comfortable and friendly - as is my style.

 

rduane@thenational.ae

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