His wife, Eva, claimed the kinetic art of the 1950's and 1960's as the inspiration for Roberto Cavalli's pre-fall outing, but if that reference made you think of the airy, primary-colored geometry of an Alexander Calder mobile, you were in for a surprise with the dark, fuzzy clothes that made up the collection.
Cavalli's standout Spring show set a shimmering new gold standard in fashion. What was on offer here was a shaded view of the Cavalli signatures: blackest fur trims, leopard-colored khaki, python graphically reconfigured in black and white. Actually, that way, it did look almost as geometric as a Calder. Or maybe more Art Deco, especially in drop-waisted flapper dresses.
There was geometry in the silhouette, too, often short and tiered, with volumes emphasized by the use of plissé and structured fabrics like silk gazar. They made the Cavalli woman look a bit more aloof, maybe even stern, especially with added details like her haute bourgeois jabots, pie-crust collars, ruffles, and discreet little bows.
She could still find her floaty python-printed mousseline if she wanted it, but there was a new seriousness of purpose in the substantial outerwear: shearlings, alpacas, a crocodile-print jacket with a detachable fur collar. Intense, overdyed shades of garnet and teal—not to mention the furred, feathered black that was the foundation of the collection—loaned a rich but solemn air to the clothes. If it's been the season of the bandbox-smart gentleman in menswear, here was a gothic-ized twist on a rather strict gentlewoman.