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Nonetheless, prints, brilliant color, and cabaret sparkle are all big news this season and Cavalli had them aplenty; his heady mix even included raunchy rodeo queens in tiny python jackets with rhinestone-beaded yokes or finely-chiseled leather chaps. Skin-tight cowgirl shirts and hourglass dresses featured prints of swirling pheasant and guinea fowl feathersoften embellished with the real thingor of frenzied kaleidoscope effects that evoked Pompeian tiled courtyards. Cavalli also tapped a softer side of seventies fashion with sexy, layered, drifting chiffon print dresses that recalled Swinging London designer Ossie Clark (who's currently being celebrated in an influential exhibit at London's Victoria & Albert Museum).
A fussier side of evening was revealed in deftly draped gowns with elaborately structured bodices that had the come-hither appeal of saloon gals in a fifties spaghetti western. Subtlety has never been Cavalli's fortehow about a spotted cat jacket with diamond cutouts for an airy summer effect?and somehow his floor-length pieces, slashed and bared as they are, reveal more than most designers’ swimsuits. Overall, his flamboyant resultsan ivory goddess gown seemingly held together with threads of crystal, or midriff-baring costumes with skirts of ostrich pomponsended up looking more Vegas showgirl than Cher.