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MILAN — Though the whir of the cameras just wound down, Roberto Cavalli’s passion for film isn’t relegated to the set of “The Decameron,” the movie he just coproduced starring Mischa Barton and Heath Ledger.

The film world, in fact, set the mood for the designer’s new fall ad campaign, which was shot by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“We chose Annie Leibovitz because she is an acclaimed photographer of the star system, an excellent portrait photographer who depicts an elegant, intriguing and timeless image,” said Cavalli.

The campaign breaks in the August issues of leading international fashion magazines.

The designer is convinced that these days the relationship between film and photography works perfectly well to interpret fashion, and his new campaign reflects the mix of the two worlds.

Shot in a dramatically lighted warehouse in Brooklyn, the reportage-style images portray a group of girls — namely models Lily Donaldson, Natasha Poly, Bianca, Maria Carla Boscone, Hye Park and Natalia Vodianova — hanging out behind the scenes.

The idea is that of budding actresses ready to step on the set, with Leibovitz trailing after them as they get their hair tousled, pose in the designer’s column dresses with Ming prints or show off sexy stilettos.

A spokeswoman said the ad budget was in line with last season, though she declined to reveal the actual amount.

The story behind the latest ad campaign is just a prelude of sorts, though. While details are still under wraps, the designer is expected today to reveal an agreement with a leading U.S. group to further develop his business.

This story first appeared in the June 29, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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