Versace Does Daywear. That should have been the headline for this collection. Donatella decided she didn’t need to do lots of evening gowns. Been There, Done That, as the saying goes. Instead she focused on her own brand of what the Versace girl wears during the day.
Apparently she wears bias cut dresses with aerated seams. Oh, and hardware to accent.
“Grace Jones meets 1930s Art Deco” sums up the Atelier Versace show that kicked off couture week in Paris nicely.
Jones’s iconic hood may have been the jumping off point for Donatella, but the soft ease that seems to be a trend also has infected her work, as we can see with the soft skirt. Not that’s it’s all soft–that jacket is so stiff it could double as a girdle.
Paris Couture week was over the American July Fourth holiday week. So we’re running about a bit behind with it, due to vacations and so forth. Now that’s we’re here, let’s start with the Atelier Versace line, where Donatella boldly brought out some of her best work to date.
Best work to date requires the best models, does it not? Naomi Campbell, last of the dying breed of Supermodel opened the show in this barely together piece that seemed to hold together purely on Campbell’s sex appeal and few well placed crystal hook and eyes.
For her resort collection Donatella Versace decided to go the tried and true sailor suit route, but with her own spin on things.
The opening look didn’t immediately signal sailor suits, except in color. Instead it looked like your regular Versace girl, headed for a glamorous vacation destination.
This show promised to be an oddity, and one risky enough that it was no surprise they released it early, in case it flopped. Versace is a line that could rightly be called “The Three Gs”: Girly, Garish and Glam. Jonathan Anderson of JWA on the other hand is “The Three As”: Androgynous, Arty and Angular. So the meeting of the two brands in Versus Versace J.W. Anderson Collection? It was either going to be fantastic, or a fantastical trainwreck.
What we ended up with was fascinating. Anderson’s aesthetic came out on top most of the time–probably for the better, since the fashion world does like its artists–but the Versace vibe was not lost. (Yes, the word “Versus” appeared on most, if not all of the models. Just to make sure you knew what line he was designing for.)
Versace is Vinyl. Donatella is never one to fear going over the top, and boy howdy did she ever with this collection.
Yes, we started out with vinyl bathing suits under coats-as-capes with fur necklines. Because really, when you’re wearing a vinyl bathing suit, you want to make sure your neck stays warm.
Sometimes I think Versace‘s secret motto is “If it ain’t baroque, don’t fit it.” For PreFall, which is supposed to be you more run-of-the-mill every day wear, Donatella ignored protocol and went as over the top as she pleased.
Because one doesn’t just walk down the street in a tee shirt with a funky pattern and jeans in the Versace world. One needs jeans with elaborate detailing, a tee shirt embellished in gold and a sleeveless purple fur cape.
Dontella Versace insisted this was a more grungy Versace girl, one for Burning Man, or another big name several day mudfest concert. If that was her intent, she missed the mark by a wide mile. But if her intent was to find a way to mix lingerie fabrics with streetwear, well then she landed her looks exactly where she was aiming.
Shorts that look like they’re for sleeping in? yes they are? Appropriate for walking down a city street. Your Mileage May vary on that point. Mudfest ready? Hells no.
Donatella Versace continues the slow spreading of her wings. This was Versace’s first couture outing since 2003. It seemed fitting that it was the opening runway show for the exclusive Paris show, and that it was held in the Pool Room of the Ritz Paris–Gianni favored that room, and since his ghost still haunts the line, it might as well be held in the most likely space it would prefer to hang out.
Deconstruction/reconstruction was declared the theme of this line. To that end the show opened with a dress that had been cut down into little plastic strips and then reformed into a cute little cocktail number.
Donatella Versace continues to get comfortable in her own brand. For the longest time she spent so much energy trying to hard to live up to some false ideal of what her brother, the late Gianni Versace would have wanted. As she finally lets his ghost go, the balance her lines strike between the clean lines the Versace brand is known for and her glam punk aesthetic have found a a niche the fashion world probably never knew needed filling until now.
This look sums it all up. Clean lines, lush fabrics, ladylike pastels…with a sharp edge. The whole outfit is a delight.