Roberto Cavalli channeled his decorative impulses in a different direction for fall, shooing away the snake and feline patterns in favor of something darker and more mysterious.

Metal and shine were integral to the collection. Chains traced the sleeves, shoulders, busts and hips of shift dresses that occasionally brought to mind Sixties backup singers. Steel inlays intermingled with fox fur, tweed, leather and studs on intricate, sweaterlike coats. In the show notes, Cavalli said the industrial-strength hardware was meant to summon “a captivating and sensual armor effect.”

The show opened with a dozen or so exits in black and white worked in crowded prints of brushstroke flora on lean tuxedos with Seventies airs, or sliced up on a filmy kilt. Then, à la Instagram, the designer illuminated similar looks with mineral shades — magenta, cobalt and turquoise — sometimes overwhelming the lavish ornamentation.

To be sure, this was a more covered-up and somber affair by Cavalli standards, seducing with film-noir glamour rather than animal instincts. WWD

Roberto Cavalli Fall 2013 Roberto Cavalli Fall 2013