Roberto Cavalli personally escorts former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland to her seat at his Milan show
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The stand-out garments in the collection, which marked a departure from the Italian's normal racy designs, were billowing kaftans
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Gucci, meanwhile, offered safari dresses and skinny-fit suits in a blue palette for 2009
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Cavalli goes for sweet not sexy as Gucci champions attitude

Roberto Cavalli, the designer who inspired Victoria Beckham's fashion career, has astonished fashionistas in Milan with a surprise change of direction.

There wasn't an animal print in sight as the Florentine master eschewed his usual über-sexy designs for a sweet and sophisticated collection at the city's fashion week. His creations, the Italian maestro said, were, "light and sophisticated for a woman who speaks with her eyes".

Flowing striped silk chiffon dresses were the key recommedation for next summer, with the only hint of Cavalli dazzle coming in the sequins embroidered onto the voile. For the very bold, kaftans came in psychedelic greens, yellow and purples.

Brigitte Bardot-style peasant blouses teamed with gaucho trousers and grand tulle ballgowns with corset bodices also featured large.

Flowing togas for the cocktails-in-Saint-Tropez contigent were also in evidence over at Gucci. For daytime the label presented safari suits accessorised with oversize shades and 'distressed' leather bags.

And when Gucci girls fancy putting on a little more attitude, they can slip into one of the brand's skinny-fit suits in sky blue, cobalt or emerald green.

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