Donatella Versace’s collection pulsated with fresh energy, from the Chicago hip-hop dancers who featured in Bruce Weber’s short film for the brand that debuted at the show to the fast-moving models who hustled across a vast triangular runway space to beats from original Prince tracks, recorded by the late artist as a gift to the designer.
The designer said she loves change and that her aim is to push the brand forward. She’s certainly been true to her word, with a new chief executive officer, Jonathan Akeroyd, joining the team this month and a whole new — more ethereal — take on the Versace man.
While there has always been an element of swagger and showmanship — often in the form of look-at-me prints and colors, gold buttons and Medusa heads — this collection was different. Although the men were still tough and confident they had a more athletic energy — and a fluidity of movement.
Versace dressed them in roomy silhouettes, including long, billowing parkas done in parachute nylon; a black trench with sexy sheer sleeves; belted topcoats as languid as silk bathrobes, and silk blouson shirts.
The designer, who took her bow dressed in a deep purple frothy blouse — an homage to her late pal Prince — also played with layering and proportion. She paired long shirts or hoodies with leggings and cycle shorts while silk sweaters were tied loosely around waists and worn with jackets and tops.
Structure came in the form of tailored leather jackets, while bombers were slashed at the back into abstract diamond shapes and dotted with small, signature Versace studs. After all, what’s a Versace collection without a bit of twinkle?