Retro-Futuristic. Versace AW21

Versace is launching a new monogram this season. Named La Greca, it’s a take on the brand’s heritage Greek Key pattern turned trompe l’oeil in the genre of Goyard’s Chevrons or Moynat’s infinite Ms. In the film Versace released, in the middle of digital Paris Fashion Week, La Greca had been blown up into a massive wooden structure that framed a runway-style show. Here, models walked through monograms wearing monogram clothes, carrying monogram bags, and accessorizing with monogram jewelry. Monogram, everything! But somehow, it didn’t suffocate the actual clothes. Donatella Versace came up with a convincing proposal for a post-lockdown wardrobe: easy, smart, and real. Sci-fi fabric treatments and styling stuff like harnesses fused with 1970s silhouettes in a slightly retro-futuristic expression were backed up by sculptural streetwear shapes and little bionic dresses (Bella Hadid, Rianne Van Rompaey and Mica Arganaraz looked gorgeous wearing them). Donatella thrives creatively lately, delivering collections that are super-Versace, but as well true to herself.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Aquatic Wonderland. Versace SS21

As we are somewhere in the middle of the fashion month, two camps of designers can be noticed: the ones that take the realistic, pragmatic approach, and the ones that prefer escapism in midst of a crisis. Donatella Versace is in the latter group, as she takes us to her aquatic wonderland for spring-summer 2021. The Versace line-up was really good this season (and you know I’m not the biggest fan of the brand), but it was the model casting that truly stole the spotlight. Seeing the gorgeous, body-positive models – Jill Kortleve, Precious Lee and Alva Clair – in the Versace fantasy-land was a inclusivity moment that sadly isn’t a usual sight in Milan (except for Fendi and Marni, which invite different models to their fashion shows for a couple of seasons now). Hopefully, Donatella will keep it up. What about the clothes? In the imagined ruins of Atlantis and water currents streaming down its projected walls. Versace goddesses and gods wore starfish, coral, and seashell motifs from Gianni Versace’s ‘trésors de la mer’ collection for spring-summer 1992. They were ready to take on a new reality like the Rebirth of Venus herself (starring Adut Akech in the title role, of course). Versace, who described the collection as having “an upbeat soul,” said her challenge was to give fashion meaning in a historical moment like this. “I wanted to do something disruptive and to break the rules because I think that, what worked a few months ago, does not make any sense today. Creatively, that meant finding a way to bring the DNA of Versace to a new reality and to people who have undergone a deep change.” Clothes-wise, it’s a fun, high summer venture: it was, on the women’s as well as the men’s side, high-octane sporty cocktail-wear for an optimistic future. In all its sea-centric detailing, it also had its moments of ingenuity: micro-pleated dresses trimmed with twirly ruffles, which bounced like jellyfish in the waves walking down the runway; crazy cascading skirts layered like the lips of shells; and a bag constructed like a big fortune cookie.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Donatella & Anna Camping

This year’s Vogue’s Forces of Fashion biggest highlight? A conversation between two friends, Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace. And the personal photos they’ve shared with the audience (and the readers, right here). The above photo seems to be unreal! But it really happened. That’s the only camp I would love to go to. But also, how CAMP is this entire situation?! Now, have a great Sunday.

Google, Show Me The Real Jungle Dress. Versace SS20

Unless you took a digital detox, there’s no possible way you aren’t aware who closed Versace‘s spring-summer 2020 collection yesterday in Milan. The soundtrack suddenly got switched off and Donatella Versace‘s voice commanded: “Google. Show me the real jungle dress.” And there she was, the one and only Jennifer Lopez, wearing the now iconic jungle dress, version 2.0., she debuted on the red carpet back in 2000. The dress, the person and the brand that actually launched Google Images, 19 years later, all shined as bright as back then. But other than the Insta-worthy finale, there was of course an entire collection, inspired by early 2000s (and J-Lo, of course). And it was quite pleasing. Sculptural pieces paired with oversized, slashed knits in bright colours; signature metal mesh dresses revisited in the jungle print; Versace Medusa logo on draped tops. The black dresses that opened the show were sultry and Italian, while blazers and coats with XL shoulders were Donatella’s take on power-dressing. The designer takes good decisions style-wise and knows how to do the PR job right.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

So Donatella. Versace AW19

(I’m a rich bitch, I’m the upper class)
All of the day
(I’m the pearl to your oyster, I’m a babe)
I’m gonna smoke Marlboro Lights and drink Champagne
(I smoke Marlboro Reds and drink Champagne)

Who doesn’t want to be Donatella Versace, for even a day? This attitude, this aura! Like in Lady Gaga’s quite iconic song, this woman is pure charisma. So was Versace‘s autumn-winter 2019 collection, splashed in neon colours, filled with S&M details and lots, lots of lace, leopard fur (faux!) and bling. Shalom Harlow opened the show, Stephanie Seymour closed it, like in the days of Gianni. Donatella smartly mixes Versace’s archival codes with her own love for power dressing. And the t-shirt made in collaboration with Richard Avedon Foundation – feauturing Donatella herself photographed by the late master of image-making – is the show’s key message: this blond is the boss!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.