CavalliLand is a rich and strange world, where jeans
come reptile-printed and orange-lacquered, and
blousons show up in sheared burgundy mink
appliquéd with leaping koi. Set against a Baroque
backdrop of urns, lamps, and gold-tasseled crimson
drapes, the designer's fall show was a kind of world
tour of elaborate indulgence, with a strong Japanese
influence that invoked The Last Samurai (or,
for older members of the audience, a kimono-clad
Richard Chamberlain in Shogun). To top it all
off, down the catwalk at show's end tottered Victoria
Beckham, the erstwhile Posh Spice, whose intense focus
on putting one foot ahead of the other suggested she
had but recently been sewn into her white gown.
Over-the-top Orientalism aside, there were some typically striking pieces: a leather jacket whose stitching suggested tribal scarification, for instance, or a quilted biker jacket with beaver-trimmed hood. And amid Cavalli's signature repertoire of motocross leathers and extreme tailoring, the jacket lapels lifted from a samurai's loungewear exerted a certain minimalist charm.