Cavalli strayed from the top drawer coutour on many Milan runways, evoking a high-end hippie rocker.
Cavalli evoked a lot of duality in his collection previewed during Milan fashion week on Saturday: light and shadow, gold and silver, iron and copper, reptile skin and feathers.
For next fall and winter, Cavalli created by his own words "a perfect synthesis" of the Cavalli style.
The designer known for sexy, edgy looks that have particular appeal with young women dipped into his archives to aggregate some of his most popular looks, reptile and animal prints, feather and luxurious embroidery, which gave the collection a flowing sense of light and shadow.
For the evening there's a long pearl gown with garnet floral embroidery, worn with a sumptuous feathered jacket. The straight hair was tucked inside a chocker and high necklines _ a look also featured by Donatella Versace earlier in the week.
Raf Simons did it again.
Enthusiastic applause and shouts of "bravo" greeted the finale of the Jil Sander show for next fall-winter by the 43-year-old Belgian, who took over as creative designer for the minimalist label six years ago.
At first Simons' unfussy yet structured look in strictly black and neutral perplexed some fashion critics accustomed to the refined simplicity of the original line founded by German designer Jil Sander in the 1970's.
But in recent seasons the collections seem more relaxed and are definitely more colorful. His rave review summer collection previewed in September featuring 1960s couture with a contemporary twist was brighter than a box of crayons.
At the time Simons said it was time to go "maximal" and he has kept to his word.
The winter collection is tailored in bold volumes enhanced by down-filled garments ranging from voluptuous skirts to oversized jackets.
There is a lot of black in the collection, but it serves to set off the colors: red, royal blue, yellow and green, as well as an old-fashioned floral print.
Knitwear plays a major role with chunky two-tone sweaters and bright pullovers with geometric designs.
The bottom of ultra slim trousers are pulled through the wedges of the disproportionately heavy footwear. Paired with the voluminous jackets they create an A line effect often evoked in fashion sketches.
Armani has gone black _ or is that noir? _ for his Emporio collection.
Next fall and winter's Emporio Armani woman is draped in black, layered in black, capped in black. She'll get a dash of color in marvelously shaggy bags in turquoise blue or deep green, and in an equally shaggy scarf, that gives the faint impression of angel wings.
the myriad of black pieces can allow for ample mixing and matching. Or, as the designer's note suggests, playing a spy role in a personal film noir, the mysterious beauty hidden behind a tilt of a black hat and dark sunglasses.
"It takes courage to propose a woman all in black, but looking at 'my girls' I have noticed that there isn't one without a black outfit," Giorgio Armani said after the show attended by Ricky Martin and Tina Turner.
Despite a runway of black, Armani acknowledged that the full collection when it turns up in stores will include color "to meet commercial needs."
Emporio Armani's black comes in many textures, rich velvet, matt cloth and Mongolian fur.
Glittering black tops _ off the shoulder, sleeveless or with just one elaborate cap sleeve _ are paired with slim trousers and worn with shoe booties in black with white accents. A simple black sleeveless dress was jazzed up with detached bubble sleeves and high-heel sandals that tie at the ankle. He closed the show with practical pantsuits, and a runway rarity: a little black tux for his sister's terrier, carried under the arm of a smiling model.
Bottega Veneta's look for next fall and winter evenings could be called sexy vintage
Creative director Tomas Maier covered silky evening wear in sheer black lace for a sensual look set off nicely with delicate jewelry in blackened silver, creating a vintage feel but with a definite contemporary edge.
Maier said he was trying to experiment with technique and craftmanship.
"The result is very particular, with a mix of control and passion that I think reflects the mood of the moment," Maier said in designer notes for Saturday morning's preview.
Sheer floral black lace covered a topaz bustier, but this is clearly not lingerie. The sleeveless dress is set off by a velvet bow tied at the waist and a long, sexy fringe along the hemline. And on another ribbons of black lace are stitched down a white dress, sometimes revealing patches of skin beneath the transparent fabric.
The daytime palette was more vibrant, including mustard, rust and garnet, and Maier played a lot with texture, presenting a shaggy coat and fuzzy woven wool skirt and top sets in salmon and rust combos.
Shoes were sandals with skinny high heels. Bags ranged from clutches to satchels, made from such varied materials as hand-painted python, washed ostrich and acid-rinsed silk.
Jewelry included brooches shaped like an eye, a delicate cameo and eye-catching blackened silver jewelry set with colored stones, and not diamonds as has until now been the case.
Colleen Barry contributed to this report.