Roberto Cavalli, Italy’s ‘king of bling”, swung his style barometer from strident and sexy to soft and subtle at Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday.
In line with the current mood for fantasy and romanticism that is emerging at these designer previews for next spring/summer, Cavalli turned down the volume on his formally over-the-top fashion formula.
“I used to design for a woman who wanted to flaunt,” he said. “Now, it’s time for a new woman who is more pure, simple and innocent.”
This proclamation, of course, did not stop the flamboyant Florentine from recreating the gilded Hall of Mirrors at Versailles as a video backdrop to his show.
But there was a sweet simplicity in the white broderie anglaise and floral chiffon petticoat dresses, even if some were unbuttoned as if in a boudoir. Fringed suede skirts, vests and trousers were mixed with Marie Antoinette-inspired peasant girl looks in pastels and patchwork florals.
Pale, sequined shifts, generally devoid of jewellery, offered a delicate suggestion of razzle-dazzle. But there was not an animal print to be seen, no splits to the thigh and no plunging cleavage.
Instead, for evening, Cavalli offered long, fluid dresses in watercolour prints of lilies, orchids and peonies, softened with a flounce at the hem.