Donatella Versace: tough, vulnerable, sexy. And then came the clothes…
It was a new courtyard look at the Palazzo Versace. The disco floor runway was alight in pulsing yellow. The trees had been adorned with white hydrangea, each large bloom individually attached. Expectations were running high for something new from the queen of cling.
The first section delivered just that. Well, it was sexy, it was brief (as in micro) and the mood was predatory – everything you want from Donatella Versace – but it was a new way of delivering all that lace. Lace panels on loose silk dresses. Lace cut outs on long tough-shouldered jackets. Lace that ran down legs of jeans or exposed thighs on hot pants. In between all this came mini skirts and tunics, strategically laced to reveal slices of skin. It was all topped with voluminous hair and toed with aggressively sharp, strappy boots of a dominatrix nature.
The strict colour blocking was affective: first black and camel, then pale blue as she introduced the tie-dye prints and as we moved from the tailoring into those fluid dresses with high hems and loose tunic sleeves, clasped at the waist with metal studded (rodeo?) belts, the colour heated up – a spectrum of yellow through orange to pink with the occasional Medusa head, the Versace logo, rippling over silk.
She then reprised those colours and prints for the gowns – fluid, swirling, plunging and floor sweeping – and again waisted them with belts. Belts dripping long silver fringes. In fact it was the ‘beltage’ that provided the wattage.
Backstage, Donatella, dressed a black power trouser suit, said that she wanted to show both sides of a woman, ‘the tough side with the jackets, the vulnerable with the dresses’, before greeting the manager of Inter Milan and one of his football stars and his girlfriend who, naturally, looked fabulous in her Versace.