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2009 March 2

It's Good to be King

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Arun Najar, Elisabeth Harley and Roberto Cavalli Arun Najar, Elisabeth Harley and Roberto Cavalli
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(MILAN) "I may be crazy, but I'm a Scorpio," said Roberto Cavalli last night. "You have to support me a little bit!" Sure enough, everyone and their appetite turned out for the reigning king of Italian fashion last night, when he threw a lavish seated dinner for 300 guests to celebrate the launch of the Cavalli Card, a joint venture with Corpcom. The venue was the famed Franco Parenti theater, which was a shadow of its former self by the time the Cavalli team had finished with it. "I feel like I'm living inside this guy's soul," murmured one guest, gesturing at the dozen or so SmartCar-sized custom light fixtures that resembled contorted lampshades. They were decked out in Cavalli fabrics, which also covered every single chair set at five 100-foot long tables overflowing with wine glasses and arrangements of pink roses. "You could definitely use this stuff to make leggings," said Anne Slowey, fingering the billowing yards of LYCRA melting off her seat. Everyone was so distracted by the opulence that HRH Sarah Ferguson, and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, arrived in the room virtually unnoticed. In fact, a slew of international A-listers arrived, like Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar, Gary Dourdan, Valeria Mazza, and scores more.

"You know, I like this music," Glenn O'Brien told her, referring to British chanteuse Imelda May while fashioning his own "Glenn O'Brien's Cavalli Card" out of paper and pen. As the party raged, Cavalli and wife Eva dug into their branzino surrounded by closest friends--and Joe Zee, Amy Astley, Hamish Bowles and Hal Rubenstein--while an army of white-coated waiters refilled wine glasses with Cavalli Tenuta Degli De and whisked away plates with aplomb.

Angela Mariani brought the man of the evening around the table to greet Kate Lanphear, Anne Christensen, Jessica Diehl and Cindy Weber Cleary before grabbing a quick bite and trading gardening tips with O'Brien and Slowey. "The pans of beer really work," she said, referring to the old method of slug control. Around dessert time, a large video screen descended and played a highly amusing video starring Milla Jovovich and--who else?--Cavalli. The former struggles to find something appropriate to wear...and the Cavalli Card comes to her rescue. The final scene shows her riding off into the sunset with the designer.

The screen ascended to reveal Jovovich herself, who brought Cavalli onto the stage. "This is the card of the season!" she said, shimmering in a dress made entirely of cream pailettes, as guests finished their biscotti and the disco-inclined retreated into an adjoining room, which was transformed into a raucous nightclub filled with a thousand beauties dancing to the tunes of London's DJ Ben Sowton. After dinner, guests waded through the theater and outside to the Caimi swimming pool, where a laser light presentation accompanied the projected image of the Mastercard. "Thank you so much for coming," the designer finished. "I can help you spend with pleasure."
ASHLEY BAKER




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