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How the king of spin turned into a frock star

SHANE WARNE is best known for his cricketing prowess, but he is also a connoisseur of women's clothing who knows his Cavalli from his Chanel.

Warne yesterday completed his transformation from beer-swilling bogan to man-about-town metrosexual when he sat front row with Liz Hurley at the Roberto Cavalli show during Milan Fashion Week.

''Shane often chooses my clothes and nine times out of 10 he chooses Cavalli,'' Hurley said.

Wearing a black suit and purple tie to co-ordinate with Hurley's purple and teal Roberto Cavalli dress, the king of spin appeared unperturbed by paparazzi mobbing the lovebirds, preferring instead to put on his best poker face and peruse Cavalli's new spring-summer offering.

The pair also enjoyed the following exchange with the Telegraph, London's Luke Leitch: An exciting moment, Shane?

Shane: ''Yes. I'm a fashion virgin. I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited.''


Leitch: Since you two have been a couple, Shane's style has changed. The Telegraph fashion desk reads Wisden just as avidly as Vogue, and we've been in awe of your flippers, googlies and dolphins (sic) for years. Now you've retired, is it fair to say you've been spinning your look?

Shane: ''Well I suppose you've only been seeing me wearing cricket whites all my life. But I have worn suits over the last 20 years. And Elizabeth always gives me good tips about ties, and shirts, and what goes with what, so it's nice to have her help too.''

The show opened with a white-out of shredded flares and white beaded drop-waist shifts in white and cream before segueing into Cavalli's signature exotic prints and skins.

Cavalli has been sure that more is more since he started his label in the early 1970s, and this week the designer known for his look-at-moi creations did not disappoint.

A nude floor-length leather dress incorporated intricate laser cut-outs, bold neon-green and peach graphics appeared on sharp-shouldered suits, and leopard spots and tiger stripes featured on negligees that were not for the faint of heart.

Cocktail dresses were slashed at the waist to reveal toned midriffs and backs, and scattered with bugle beads and tiny crystals.

Sundresses had lace insets at the neck and back, perfect for showing off golden skin in the summer, and jewel-encrusted cropped tuxedo jackets paired with shorts offered an evening look for the more adventurous.

Following earlier minimal collections from the likes of Jil Sander, Fendi and Gucci, fellow maximalists Dan and Dean Caten also came out to play during Milan Fashion Week.

The Canadian twins are known for staging ebullient and extravagant fashion shows, and this week's was no exception.

''Nothing exceeds like excess,'' proclaimed the show notes for the duo's Dsquared2 show. ''Pile it on. ''It's a gold rush.''

The cricket great watched the proceedings with a delicately legs-crossed, hands-perched-on-knee posture that wouldn't wash at the WACA but was just perfect for Milano: Warney looked to the manor born.

Georgina Safe travelled to Italy as a guest of Bulgari.