January 14, 2007
Roberto Cavalli's best pal in the rock world is famously Mr. Lenny Kravitz, but well before the python-panted one picked up a guitar and played, there was the Lizard King. So, with his new collection, Cavalli went back to the source, exploiting the musical and stylistic legacy of Door Number One in an earnest attempt to give his collection some rock-cred spine. It was Jim Morrison on the soundtrack and Jim Morrison on the T-shirt as the show opened, and from that point on, the Doors swung wide open. Black leather pants, hints of snakeskin, Chelsea boots, shaggy 'dos, uncertain staggerCavalli's mannequins scarcely missed a trick as they set about invoking the spirit of one of rock's most enduring legends. If Morrison's dreary incantation of "The Soft Parade" wasn't enough to make some older onlookers remember why they never liked his band in the first place, there were a few other off-putting cues from the catwalk: shirts that messily commingled ruffles, patches of python, and the incongruous image of a nightingale; a T-shirt that tiredly proclaimed its model had "a cobra on my left." Much truer to Cavalli's own Florentine ethos were artisanal effects, such as the embossing on shearling or fur, the glazing on cotton jeans, or even the ruggedly wolf-trimmed shearling that closed the show. The moral of the story was plain to see: Roberto's on terra firma as long as he stays in his own backyard.