Roberto Cavalli Spring 2015 Milan Fashion Week

According to his Instagram bio, Roberto Cavalli “came into fashion for a chance to meet all the beautiful women. . . . ” And, you know, I bet he has. Certainly the type of women who like some flash and fun to go with their marabou and stretches of skin to show with their lace.

Cavalli is reigning king of the clubs, of the “oontz-oontz” parties where the gestures are less studied than thrown. And yet, this collection was somewhat pretty, even romantic in moments. According to team Cavalli backstage prior to the show, these designs embraced “lightness, a vacation when life is a vacation.”

See collection

Yet they also employed a real sense of balance: A clunky flatform sandal literally grounded some of the more outré looks, which included ocelot-print sequined dazzlers in floor length and mini, tasseled and banded-striped multicolored jacquard accordion-pleated dresses, lace-covered sequins, and the aforementioned marabou, here fashioned into wide, flouncy-bouncy trousers. Several looks turned down the wattage, too, when it came to the color palette: An array of white and pale-pastel confections in embroidered tulle became a surprisingly romantic gesture—the one white lace broderie anglaise gown, replete with pale-pink and robin’s-egg-blue insets and delicate sequin beading, was entirely dreamy. It was a completely different type of fantasy dressing, not intended so much  for dancing atop a banquette as for in a sun-baked Capri piazza.

But hold on, hold on, hold on to your stilettos: The high-gloss crocodile was there, in a molded bodice on a halter dress and in strips on a truly sheer, pleated miniskirt. The polished python, too, in the moto jackets and the handbags. There was the aforementioned ocelot print, there were short fluttering hems and plunging necklines, tighter-than-tight silhouettes in which dinner before dancing would not be an option, and a series of zebra-print gowns, occasionally accented by a slash of tangerine-colored lace that caught more than a few appreciative glances from Heidi Klum, seated front and center and grinning widely throughout. And denim, a Cavalli signature, also made repeat appearances—though here, too, it was lighter, lovingly roughed up to simulate a vintage effect. So it wasn’t all candy floss and pretty pastel daydreams, but perhaps for Mr. Cavalli, it was a dip of his crocodile-shod toe into the light side.

Backstage:

Source: VOGUE

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