Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Roberto Cavalli

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IF you’re looking for fierce tiger, zebra and leopard prints, knitted dresses streaming in long silken tassels, and sizzling ombré plissé goddess gowns hot enough to spark wet sand, then Roberto Cavalli is your go-to; he had it all in spades. There’s no mistaking the Cavalli customer, she’s the one in Cannes dancing on super yachts until the small hours – those tassels will look just marvelous in motion – but this season she’s looking for love, not just a good time. Poetic blouses with ruffled bibs and frilly cuffs cinched in ribbons added an air of romance to proceedings, so too those scarf prints spread over wafty bohemian maxi dresses and voluminous silk jumpsuits.

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Other highlights included a brief military moment, with fur-hooded khaki pony skin parkas, cargo mini skirts in corduroy and boxy officer jackets punctuated in gold conical buttons. Denim too got an outing – remember, the fabric was a Cavalli starting point in the early Seventies – here it was patchworked together, and elsewhere covered in black micro sequins – ideal for catching those lights on dance floors the world over. It’s apt that the Italian house should revisit denim and patchwork, perhaps it was a moment to look back; this season is quite possibly Eva and Roberto Cavalli’s last. Rumors are circling that the sale of a majority stake is imminent and that Pucci’s Peter Dundas is tapped to take the helm.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Roberto Cavalli

ROBERTO CAVALLI clothes are those that demand a certain sort of lifestyle. Invariably that includes a yacht and some sun – and that was certainly the case as the designer headed out into the ocean for inspiration but stayed above sea level for a collection that took on nautical notes – but left them at just that, notes.

The maxi dresses in exotic shades and vivid prints that opened were made purely for lounging around in, perhaps an on-board waiter to cater to one’s every whim the only accessory needed. We saw these same styles with empire lines, beaded and shorter, and in lace too.

Cargo pants were purely decorative, in bejewelled lace as they were. There would be no ferrying of cargo in these.

Splashes of denim (for every designer is making sure they dabble with it this season) were shredded and ripped when it came to jeans, shirts and T-shirt tops. There was animal print (as there must be from Cavalli) in there too, again on those maxi dresses that you know will waft so well in the sea breeze.

And when the Cavalli crew do want to head back to shore for a night out next summer, they have their biker jackets (in black lace and sequins) to take them there, a little feathery bag and column gown or crystallised dropped-waist number to complete the look. The only question is: are you on board or not?

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Spring/Summer 2014-15 Roberto Cavalli

ROBERTO CAVALLI likes his women glamorous, confident, powerful and with a wild side. Today he refuelled their wardrobes with silver alligator biker jackets and backless, body-hugging crochet dresses in black and white that were smoking hot and fabulous to watch – even for people for whom the words “backless”, “and “bodyhugging” in the same sentence would only ever refer to swimwear and only under duress.

After a Just Cavalli collection earlier in the week that erred on the side of tasteless, we hoped today would have all the bling but without dispelling Cavalli’s very particular notion of class – and it did. The skins reappeared on long, beaded, python-printed chiffon dresses that were hung with fur stoles and tied at the back of the neck with long tasselled laces. One, in degrade pink, proved Cavalli a master of delicacy, each dress as ambitious as the last – while the palette of black and white, palest pink, mint and silver underlined the point that in spite of the flesh flashing, he can do subtlety too – in his own way.

Gladiator strapped heels up to the knee gave the Cavalli woman her stride and – while we would have liked to see a little less of the glitter at times – this was a collection to show that Cavalli is still very much in his.

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