Considering the layers of prints that have been impressed upon our eyes the last few weeks, one could be forgiven for approaching the Roberto Cavalli show cautiously, with one lid squinted shut in anticipation of another visual overload of color, tropical fauna, or animal spots. But that would have been a mistake, because Cavalli’s vision for spring was decidedly soft. His parade of romantic floral dresses—if you took away the molto-Cavalli tooled-croc hip belt—were fluid, relatively quiet, and kind of great. To the floor and cut on the bias, the sweeping frocks were done in pretty chiffon mixed with strips of black lace that, with varied degrees of embellishment, brought the looks closer to evening. There really was nothing tricky or overtly aggressive about these clothes, which a) was refreshing, and b) may explain why Cavalli chose to throw in some scalpel-sharp jackets and vests that didn’t toughen up the aesthetic too much, but simply kept it from going too gently into that good night. Rendered in solid black or white with gold trim, ornate exotic skins, or opulent beads and sequins, the jackets and vests also worked with the kicky gladiator minis in that same chiffon-and-lace combination. What felt like a misstep, literally, were the clunky carved wedge pumps. They were too dark and heavy. A more delicate shoe would have taken the romance to the next level.
Photo: Marcio Madeira/firstVIEW