U.S. star Janet Jackson’s front row appearance at the Roberto Cavalli show at Milan fashion week on Saturday threw photographers into such a frenzy that they had to be physically hauled off the catwalk.
Whistles and cat calls filled the air and the audience was roused for drama, which the Florentine luxury house conjured up with an autumn-winter 2013 collection mixing war apparel with a homage to Renaissance art.
Nearly every item was embellished with studs or delicate chains to create an armour effect and miniskirts were pleated, echoing Roman Centurion kilts.
Black and silver tuxedos, slim trousers and tweed tops gave way to oversized fur coats, jackets and suits in bold splashes of colour — violets, burgundies, blues and yellows — evoking the messy rainbows on painters’ pallets.
Intricate flower prints covered trousers and satin shirts, and Cavalli’s models wore large earrings, necklaces and brooches featuring snakes and eagles.
On top of the military look, the brand unveiled a series of 1920s-style low-waisted sleeveless dresses, jazzed up with sparkling beads for the evening.
At the Ermanno Scervino show earlier, chandeliers hung from the ceiling in front of a video projection of windows looking out on to Florence’s iconic Duomo.
The label had subtitled the show “austerity and the yearning for femininity”, and said the collection was for “a woman with no holds barred.”
Tones were muted, a series of grey suits and dresses — enriched with large fur stoles — merged into off-whites, nudes and the occasional burgundy.
The models wore luxurious Russian-style headscarves in soft fur, tied under the chin, and a series of cashmere sleek-fitting dresses oozed decadence.
Woollen jackets had leather insets in the back or arms, and a long angora coat with biker jacket-style padding on the elbows and back stood out.
For the evening, full-length corset dresses in organza ruffled out behind.
Swarovski crystals shone from cuffs, collars and bags as a club mix of Rihanna’s “Shine Bright Like a Diamond” pumped out over the speakers.