Colour, Gianni prints, 80s sexiness – this couldn’t be more Versace. After her major spring-summer 2018 tribute collection, something has opened up for Donatella Versace. She seems to feel even more freed. And finally happy, against all the odds the designer met after her brother’s murder. Versace of today is her success, undoubtedly. She understands that the brand’s cult should be embraced – that’s why the Medusa and the brand’s logo are wherever you look. She makes the word VER-SA-CE sound like a vision of delightful, hedonistic and extrenely Italian dolce vita. But at the same time, she smartly injects her style into the house codes. I adore the contemporary sportiness to what she does lately – the eveningwear is glamorous, but comfortable; vintage-y animal spots and Clueless checks land on puffer jackets. Even though I can’t say I’m an ultimate fan of Versace aesthetics, I’m a fan of Donatella. She’s a woman to respect, and love.
As Miuccia Prada told the editors after her autumn-winter 2018 fashion show, she wishes “for the strength of women going out in the violence. My dream is for women to be able to go out in the street and not be afraid. I wanted to have the freedom exaggerated.” Indeed, staged in the still unfinished tower extension of the Fondazione Prada, the venue’s mood (lit with neon signs) felt powerfully cosmopolitan. The colours of the collection’s sequined mini-dresses, Pocono-nylon track pants, rubber boots and corporate jackets were equally joyous. While Prada continues to remix her archives (the brand’s fan will notice many, many references to her past collections…), she keeps it feminine this time around with tulle shawls wrapped around the neck. Utilitarian, but soft. Intelligent.
After reading Susannah Frankel’s massive feature on Alessandro Michele in the latest issue of Another, there’s no wonder why Gucci‘s creative director is… the way he is. His mother worked in film industry and was the 50s, Hollywood loving female; his father was a free-spirited, as Michele says, shaman. Such clash of identities had to result in a single mind, as wildly creative as of Alessandro. The autumn-winter 2018 collection is an overdrive of explosive surprises, that convey a message: we all have an identity, whether formed by our surroundings, culture or interests.
The venue looked like a cosmic surgery room, with an operation table standing in the middle. Was it a metaphor that Dr. Alessandro (and Gucci) are here to shape your, who knows, expression? If yes, then it’s quite a struggle to decide which aspect of the collection should we start with. Maybe the models, who carried their heads (!), snakes and baby dragons? Make-up – if you still can call it that shallow way – that consisted of Frida Kahlo uni-brows and cyclop eyes? Or even Pussy Riot balaclavas, manga-inspired prints and velvet burqas? Still, the collection was not only true to Alessandro’s extremely eclectic style, but his Gucci-fiyed reality. Gucci logo is everywhere, from the silk scarf tops to the buttons a tweed jacket. Welcome to the Gucci ‘pluriverse’, where there’s no place for trends, conformity or lethal routine.