After more than forty years of coming up with ideas for fashion shows, you could forgive Roberto Cavalli for failing to feel the same rush. But at a preview the day before the show, disenchantment was certainly not part of the agenda. 'I love designing but the best part is coming up with new ideas. This season was all about energy and rebirth- like a Phoenix.' Indeed this collection came straight out of the flames of that mythical bird with an elemental catwalk set combining both fire and rain.
As the temperature soared, the first models out showcased a host of Cavalli signatures. There were graphic suits and matching printed trousers and silk shirts, unbuttoned low. Motifs included abstracted peacock feathers and a play on equestrian paraphernalia. Military details abounded from buttons to uniform jacket cuts.
But the real star - as ever with Cavalli - was the house's skillful embellishment. From a silver studded leather biker jacket to floor length evening gowns complete with hundreds of thousands of twinkling beads, the expertise of Cavalli's petit mains was impressive. These talents were displayed most effectively across flapper dresses - all dropped waists and heavy barrel beaded fringing - combined with long, pendulous tassel necklaces to channel twenties decadence.
The most memorable story of the collection took cues from the scorching ring of flames centre stage. Scorching licks of red fire prints burnt up slinky silk and pleated chiffon dresses and the colours of fireball from orange to pillar box. Fiery beads tipped tassels to give the impression of burning dresses while a flame printed suit offered all the drama a red carpet starlet could ask for. Cavalli's girl is once again on fire- both literally and figuratively.