“I’M liberating the Versace woman,” exclaimed Donatella Versace before her show this evening. “Usually we give them clothes that are very tight to the body but this time they are much more languid – they caress the body.” Inspired by“the street – which is the new catwalk,” she did, in fact, let the Versace girl breathe a little. Not only that, she made a play for ordinary fabrics and gave them Versace swagger.
Full skirts of woven raffia bounced around beneath linen and denim mix jackets, while silk T-shirts were emblazoned with the brand name as would befit a rock band, and boasted chainmail sleeves. “I think at the moment it’s all about easy things to wear; women love to wear jeans and a T-shirt so I want to give these ordinary things the status of luxury,” went on Donatella. “The shapes are pretty simple but the pieces are as precious as they can be.” She claimed there was more romance in this collection – and there was, prior to it being styled up to hit the catwalk with leather mega belts, fierce platform strapped sandals and shiny chains holding the famous Medusa head to each model’s chest. Silk floral slip dresses and sheer blouses revealed a softer side to Versace, but it was heavily disguised by tiny hotpants of embossed floral leather, ruched chiffon dresses that bandaged the breath out of models again, spray-on floral chiffon short shorts and heavy leather jackets stapled together with bold silver nuggets.
The palette was pastel soft – pale blue leather jeans had sheer side panels with floral leather appliqué – and then the eveningwear meant the floral motifs reappeared in glittering embellishment on nude chiffon body stockings. More languid once the lights went down, perhaps, but this was Versace in full tough girl mode – just the way we like her.