The Leopard Lover Doesn't Change His Spots
Roberto Cavalli Celebrates 40 Years of Doing What He Does Best
Roberto Cavalli has never done things by halves, and his 40th anniversary party was a star-studded case in point. For his lavish bash at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he turned the chapel into a gallery, featuring iconic photos by Mert & Marcus and a smattering of strategically displayed vintage dresses. The great hall became a lounge with heaving banquet tables, Champagne, and Cavalli vodka. Taylor Swift, Rachel Bilson, and model-turned-actress Yu Yamada mingled gamely with the crowd, while Janet Jackson opted for refuge behind her bodyguard.
"I've been wearing Cavalli since before he did men's," reminisced the L.A.-based fashion peacock James Goldstein. "I was about 20 when I first tried on a pair of his pants, and I've been collecting ever since. Cavalli loves women, parties, and nightlife more than anyone I know." (The women clearly love him back. "I needed this dress," said Hilary Rhoda, in a red halter gown.)
"Cavalli's fashion is just so feminine-friendly—I'm no six-foot girl and I'm not that young anymore, but I can always find something that makes me feel gorgeous," added Yasmin LeBon, who may—stay tuned—make a catwalk appearance later this week ("even though it makes me feel like a grandmother," she joked). Heidi Klum, clad in a column of gold sequins, added, "I wore his white lace leather pants to host the MTV awards; I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. He's still at the top of his game."
The designer made his entrance just before Kylie Minogue took the stage, with Italian icon Ornella Muti on his arm. "It's just pure emotion," the designer said. "I've done what I wanted to do. I'm very happy about my life, maybe for the first time." Surely there's something else he'd like to get done? He paused, then: "Ask me in the morning."