Conceptual and Cavalli aren't words usually found in the same sentence, but this season he shelved the high-octane, ultra-sexy glamour he's famous for and replaced it with something more unexpected. Calling the collection "a hymn to a simpler lifestyle, far away from the limelight," Cavalli layered floral-print sack dresses with elements borrowed from the boys: boxy pinstripe jackets and low-slung trousers that exposed the waistbands of boxer shorts, and silk button-downs topped by scarves wrapped snugly around necks. Trompe l'oeil apron dresses featured calico florals in front and sheer black chiffon that exposed bra straps in back. In some cases, he replaced the mannish pants with transparent ones. There were shades of both Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs in the mix-and-match, masculine-feminine pull of the clothes. But as one editor put it: Does anyone really want to wear two outfits at once? More to the point: Do Cavalli's customers?

He simplified for evening, showing one vintage-looking pink nightgown with ruffles cascading down the back and a few others in washed silk or bleached denim that were pieced and swirled around the torso above full skirts with asymmetrical hems. They weren't overtly sexy, but Cavalli's limelight-loving city girls will be able to relate to those.