The Roberto Cavalli show was up and down — in both a physical and emotional sense.
There was a switch from sexiness to sweetness with long hemlines — rather than short skirts — making the impact. But both hem lengths embraced the swaying white fringe and the wafting lace that ran like a shower of milk over the outfits.
But it soon appeared that there was another on-going theme: Chinoiserie. Not elements of China today, whose inhabitants are Italy’s enthusiastic fashion shoppers. But the historic arts of Asia, reworked in pixels on the clothes: here a splash of Imperial yellow, there a pagoda-shaped gilded button, or a criss-crossed bodice of Ming vase floral — all done in small dabs rather than big statements.
Having earlier this month in New York seen a Cavalli dress inspired by Ming porcelain at a preview of the Metropolitan Museum exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, I wondered if that garment had been the inspiration for this Autumn 2015 collection.
Cavalli’s strength is that the clothes are so exquisitely made in Italy, what might otherwise be vulgar becomes beautiful. If any modern Chinese women are compelled to buy, I hope they pick the long dresses, full of grace.