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Milan Fashion Week: Roberto Cavalli channels Cher

September 28, 2010 | 10:33 am


Under the Peace Arch in Milan,  with a leafy greenhouse for a backdrop, Roberto Cavalli marked his 40th year in business by going back to his roots, as a designer who elevated leathers, animal prints, fringe and feathers to high fashion.

The show was a vision of rock 'n' roll goddesses, dressed in flared python pants clinging to the body with the help of row after row of delicate suede laces: luxurious crocodile jackets in snug-fitting shapes; airy animal print chiffon maxi dresses with intricate crochet string bodices, and boho bags dangling fringe, feather and horn talismans.

It was a boho luxe slice of the 1970s (hello, Cher!) that we hadn't yet seen this season, when the Me Decade inspired countless designers.

Rc4But this wasn't one of Cavalli's raucous runway productions. Instead, it was quietly nostalgic. And the neutral palette of beige, blush and gray kept the mood soft and romantic.

As it was at Dolce & Gabbana, this was a collection about the details -- an ode to Florentine handcraft. And these details weren't to be believed -- chiffon seamlessly worked with leather, and animal spots made from pale sequin embroideries.

Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Rachel Bilson and Heidi Klum were just a few of the celebrities who flocked to the front row to see Cavalli's wearable art. And no doubt many more will join him at Paris Fashion Week, when he hosts a black tie gala to celebrate.

-- Booth Moore

Roberto Cavalli spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the Roberto Cavalli Spring-Summer 2011 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times.