The Just Cavalli runway show was canceled two days ago after Ittierre, the Italian manufacturer that makes Roberto Cavalli's younger line, became the latest company to fall prey to the recession. But the designer isn't prepared to give up without a fight. "I hope with all my heart that these pieces will be produced," he said at a press conference and at the small showroom presentation today, hinting that he may take the process temporarily in-house. "It's grinta," he declared. "Strong, edgy, forceful, charismatic—like me."

Like so many other designers this season, Cavalli has been vibing on the rocker/biker chick look made popular by Balmain's Christophe Decarnin. A rugged black leather motocross jacket was paired with a silver-studded net dress, and a tuxedo jacket topped a rhinestone-covered sleeveless minidress. Denim, Cavalli reminded the audience, is what first made his name ten years ago, and here it came frayed and ripped or in a black and white acid wash that was patchworked into a fitted long-sleeve dress with silver chain trim at the hem. If these ideas were hardly revolutionary, they were well executed for their eventual price tags. There are plenty of girls eager to get this tough and sexy look in the three- or four—not five—figure range, should the resilient Mr. Cavalli manage to get it made.