At first glance, Roberto Cavalli's decision to drag the Spice Girls onto the catwalk for a pre-show photo op seemed a little perplexing. (And the man must have a rhino's hide to withstand the bellowed demands to stand aside so snappers could get an unadulterated shot.) But maybe he figured he needed to Spice up the front row, because by Cavalli's standards this was a surprisingly sedate, commercially driven collectionit was as if Goldman Sachs had suddenly hired the designer to liven up the corporate uniform. Okay, that's a little extreme, but the show's lingering visual (aside from the eye-popping assets of the aforementioned Girls) was of an outfit composed of suit, sweater, shirt, and tie. With peaked shoulder and nipped waist, to be sure, but a suit just the same.
Cavalli's signature animal prints were confined to a leopard coat and a giraffe pattern (faintly stamped on a suede jacket), as well as to the backstage VIP area. And the Florentine artisanal treatments that are another signature were present in the way that leather and suede were subtly tooled (one skin had a striking brocade effect). A suede duffel lined in astrakhan and a closing coat of lustrous monkey fur evoked the willful, rockin' excess of alt-Cavalli (which is, face it, how the world learned to love him). For the rest, we'll just have to console ourselves with the thought that Wall Street, at least, may never be the same.