Roberto Cavalli was flogging his artisanal leathers decades ago in Saint-Tropez, so what this man doesn't know about resort dressing probably isn't worth knowing, especially as it pertains to the species of tawny-maned tigress who prowls for her male prey in Mediterranean hot spots. She's still the type who can best carry off Cavalli's florid skins: the fringed orange suede, the navy tie-dyed suede, the white python, even the pink python that edged a quilted silk jacket in his new collection.
His treated denims were partly responsible for his early reputation, but here the designer printed jeans on silk chiffon for a trompe l'oeil effect. In fact, prints are where Cavalli's heart is now. Photos he took in an orchid garden on a recent trip to Singapore were enlarged on silk, while photographic leaf, feather, and flower motifs created an almost three-dimensional illusion of plissé on the body, with a sinuous shape that sums up the Cavalli aesthetic. For a while now, though, his most appealing pieces have been his floaty, sheer sundresses, with a sweetness and innocence that suggests Kitty declawed. It was the same situation here.