“I love women and they love me,” Roberto Cavalli told Style.com last night, surrounded by a throng of female admirers at his newly renovated Madison Avenue flagship store. They had flocked uptown to the Italian couturier’s shop to kick off the annual Casita Maria gala honoring Cavalli this November.
The shop—outfitted in new crystal-dusted flooring, tufted python ottomans, and chocolate ponyhair rugs—quickly filled with the likes of China Machado, Hannah Bronfman, Melissa George, Denise Rich, and Michelle Harper. Never mind the Indian summer; when Mr. Cavalli throws a party, the dress code calls for two things: leopard and fur. “Russian women love to dress,” quipped soprano Anna Netrebko, the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s Anna Bolena, who arrived swathed in an aqua animal-print number and a matching mink bolero. “All that fur and bling, we love it.”
The designer, who recently celebrated 40 years in business, revealed no plans to hang his bedazzled coat (ahem, jeans) anytime soon. And why should he? His Spring ’12 gold sequined collection was jaw-dropping. “This is my life,” he said. “I started working in fashion because I love femininity, and to me the most important thing is to make women feel more beautiful.” Mr. Cavalli, mission accomplished.