Donatella looks to the future with Versace & Versus
As Milan Fashion Week passed relentlessly through the weekend, we're still thinking about one woman's work on Friday - Donatella Versace. The 57-year-old Italian designer showed both sides of her creativity (and her personality) with a beautiful SS13 Versace collection followed by a fun filled Versus show.
For Versace, Donatella delivered a collection that looked forward to the future whilst holding onto design elements that are synonymous with the fashion house. There were details we expected - gladiator style boots, eyelets, criss-crossed straps and heavy embellishment - and features we didn't, like tie-dye. The show opened with little black dresses with lace inserts, silk pyjama style shorts with lace at the hem, and slinky, midriff baring tops that were artfully creased.
Shimmering blues and exotic oranges punctuated the black, gold and cream, providing a romantic edge, whilst laced up heels, golden cuffs, exaggerated necklaces, belts and harnesses ensured no look was without sass. Silver and gold fringing appeared on everything, from jewellery and shoes, to belted-waists and even dresses, but it wasn't all about the hard wear; the billowing sleeves, luxurious fabrics and floaty floor length dresses showed a delicate, less aggressive side to the brand.
The whole collection focused on a looser silhouette, yet it still felt racy and confident, with daring slashes and kohl eyed models stomping down the runway; even the usual heavily embellished dresses were cut to a more flattering and diverse shape. Our favourite pieces included tie-dyed sleeveless suit jackets, which were teamed with short shorts to wonderful effect, and tie-dye gowns, which left everyone wide-eyed at the end of the show.
In contrast to the elegance and beauty of Versace, Donatella's Versus SS13 collection was brash, loud and fun, fun, fun! Collaborating with British designer Christopher Kane, the Versace diffusion line has always been a little more unconventional, and in some cases, more innovative. With Donatella's penchant for the 'rock chic' aesthetic and Kane's passion for colour and detail, the pair didn't just create a show; they threw a party.
Whilst Beth Ditto belted out songs, the models practically danced down the catwalk in a plethora of Lego inspired colours and fabrics ranging from cotton and jersey to mesh, rubber and plastic. Even the most accomplished pieces were youthful, teamed with a dressing up box of primary coloured accessories, like chunky plastic chain necklaces, chain covered clutch bags and chain embellished heels.
There were playful knits, which echoed the chain details, head-to-toe fuchsia pink outfits, rubbery canary yellow dresses and zippers, poppers and eyelets everywhere. After the colour blocking and scalloped edged leathers came the Twister-like circular patterns, floral numbers that reminded me of Hama beads, and cartoon style chain printed pieces mixed with plastic chain linked jumpers and skirts.
The collection may not cater to everyone's taste, but that didn't stop the fashion pack from smiling as every model appeared on the runway. We can't wait to see which celebrity will try these pieces first!