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Photo finish

art and culture Updated: Nov 20, 2010 01:24 IST

Highlight Story

Italy's glamourous fashion tycoon Roberto Cavalli on Thursday opened an exhibition of photos taken in his spare time. “I’ve loved taking pictures all my life,” Cavalli, wearing tinted sunglasses, a black jacket with jeans and a grey scarf, said in the halls of the Palazzo Morando in the heart of Milan's fashion district.

The exhibition, which runs until December 12, marks the 70th birthday of the leather entrepreneur, whose extravagant designs and animal-skin prints have become synonymous with a new type of brash and kitsch Italian fashion style.

"I've started taking pictures during my trips around the world all the time," he said. "The connection is my imagination," added the tycoon, who has shocked the fashion world with famously extravagant designs such as leopard-print and patchwork.

"Fashion has become too industrial, too commercial. You have to think about selling it," he said. But with photography, he added, "I can do crazy things."

The exhibition, entitled "Black Is Not Always Absolute," reveals Cavalli's fascination with nature and animals — a major source of inspiration for him. In some of the snaps, Cavalli can be seen petting monkeys and dolphins. In others, he takes pictures of desert landscapes, flowers and fish.

"I always say that God was the greatest designer. I prefer copying the clothes that God created for tigers or leopards," he said. At the age of 70, the fashion designer, who was born into a family of artists in Florence in 1940, is determined to live as he always has "trying to make life the least boring possible" and says photography helps him do that.