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.