ROBERTO CAVALLI understands that being asked to dress the Duchess of Cambridge may be an ambition of his that's unlikely to be fulfilled, but he still thinks that she could do with a dose of his label's high-octane sex appeal. "A princess should be sexy," he told us. "She is young, she is beautiful - I would like to create something special for her, but nothing too bold. I would like to prove to the world that Roberto Cavalli can dress a princess. Maybe I would use a print, keeping it young, sophisticated and sexy. Just because you are a queen or princess it doesn't mean you can't be sexy." In London to launch four bespoke dresses at Harrods ("It is the number one store in the world - it is so chic"), Cavalli was talking at a public event to meet his adoring fans. In his experience, his following are a loyal and obsessive bunch. "At the Cavalli for H&M launch in 2007, I stepped out of the car smoking and dropped my cigarette on the pavement - a disgusting, dirty Italian habit - and I found out not long afterwards that it was sold on eBay for £250. My children said to me, 'You are not allowed to throw your butts away ever again, we'll have them.'"
His Harrods ballgowns (see them in the gallery featured left), encapsulate the dramatic glamour for which his designs are known: floor-sweeping gowns come in vibrant blue and soft pink, adorned with intricate glittering beading. There is, however, one British woman who represents his ideal of beauty more than most. "Victoria Beckham - she is in my heart," he said. "I have known her and David for many years, but now we don't speak as much now that she is so busy with her own label. But I remember when she asked me to design the Spice Girls costumes for the reunion in 2008, I was so surprised and pleased because I really didn't like the competition - Dolce & Gabbana. When someone wears a dress really well, I describe them as an actress of fashion, rather than a model. That's what Victoria is - an actress of clothes because she interprets what she wears very well. She is intelligent, but also very shy. I was once on the red carpet with her and she made me hold her hand because she was so nervous. She represents a little bit of England to me."Thanks to Vogue.co.uk and Tony[DenDen]