Roberto Cavalli Pre-Autumn Fall 2012

“Short for dancing, long for red carpet. This is how we do it!” declared Roberto Cavalli. He was holding up two versions of the same emerald-green print dress, considering who might be going out in one or the other of them. “Jennifer Lopez!” he growled. “She likes this sort of thing.” Call it pragmatic decadence or sensible opulence—regardless, Roberto and his wife Eva Cavalli have a perfectly informed idea of who they’re designing for and where their looks are destined to be flaunted.

The couple was in Paris, presenting pre-fall above the Cavalli store in the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, in a setting which suddenly seemed like a nightclub in the seventies: couches and tables with bowls of fruit, crystal-and-gold goblets on the go, and a giant German shepherd snoozing on the floor. Of course! These are fun-loving Florentines holding up Italy’s reputation for sexy excess. Come on—somebody has to do it.

We’re not talking blatant Berlusconi-era bunga-bunga sexy, though. Instead of flashing too much flesh, for pre-fall the display is all on the outside, in a pile-up of animal print, feathers, and fur, worked into the surfaces of coats and mixed into the pleats and paillettes on dresses. “It’s a rock-’n’-roll confusion!” laughed Eva Cavalli. The outerwear involves deceptive layering tricks, detachable fur collars and linings—the Cavalli girl’s ideal compromise for maintaining outward glamour while keeping inwardly cozy. She’ll be even more head-turning if she follows the Cavalli idea of adding jet-bead-smothered leggings and long leather gloves to her looks. Fierce.
by Sarah Mower


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