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CAVALLI CHARM: Morning TV got a dose of Italian sensuality Thursday when Roberto Cavalli brought a selection of sexy, festive dresses — plus several bottles of his Cavalli Chianti — to “The Martha Stewart Show.” Puffing on a smokeless cigarette before the taping, Cavalli explained the mini-fashion show was all Stewart’s idea. “At the beginning, I expected that I [would] prepare to cook something,” the designer said. “I spent the last two weekends with my Italian chef to prepare a gnocchi with ragu — ragu is one very good tomato meat sauce for the gnocchi, [which is made out of] potato, flour — fantastic! But anyway, Martha changed [her] mind.” On the bright side, “At least now I know how to cook gnocchi,” Cavalli added. “And I will say to Martha today, ‘Invite me again and I will show you the best gnocchi because I have the best cook in Italy.’”
Pasta aside, Cavalli was hoping to get to know the domestic diva, who wore one of his blouses (black, with beading and bell sleeves) for the episode. Though he knew Stewart was a fan of the line, he’d never dressed her. “Today is the first time that I meet Martha,” Cavalli said. “I need to know her. I need to know her personality. Sometimes I think that a good designer should be also a therapist because, really, I need to feel what she likes, to make something special for a special woman like her. She is not a normal one.”
And when the cameras started rolling, Stewart did show a special talent for icebreaking, introducing Cavalli to the day’s other guest, “Saturday Night Live” head writer Seth Meyers, with a discussion of what the two had in common. “I’m going to guess — nothing,” quipped Meyers, who then gamely tried to find similarities with the large-living designer. On women, they agreed. But a 140-foot color-changing yacht? (Cavalli brought photos of his.) “I have a pair of jeans that get darker depending on how long I go without washing them,” offered Meyers. Then, despite the early hour, the unlikely trio clinked glasses filled with Cavalli’s wine — a gift for Stewart that came in an animal-print-lined case, with black goblets and snake-shaped corkscrew.
Cavalli’s charm (heavy on flattery and Roberto Benigni-esque elocution), wasn’t lost on Meyers. “He’s very sexy,” the funnyman told Stewart during the pair’s crafting segment. Perhaps it was all a bit much for the prim host, who later said to Meyers, “He should be the focus of a ‘Saturday Night Live’ joke.”
— Nick Axelrod