Dispatches from Milan: Versace A/W 2015

Rebecca Lowthorpe reports


Donatella Versace is the global CCO (Chief Creative Officer) of the predatory female. But a Donatella-does-sex collection is nothing new – everyone knows that, including Donatella. So, in a bid to freshen her oeuvre, Donatella put cool into the mix. It started with the hair. Forget bouncy, glossy waves that you could run your fingers through – this Versace woman had been out all night; her hair was stringy, messy, and, by the look of her, she’d had a wild time.


She wore typically lethal boots, in shiny green, yellow or red. Balanced on high gold pillars and platforms, they ended ultra-thigh-high and became the centre of attention, always revealed by her asymmetric, cut-away dress. Her waist was clamped with a large square buckle whether she was wearing pencil skirt, fit ’n’ flare quilted black coat or skinny, uber-flared trousers. Sometimes she appeared in Versace insignia prints – all over. Or just the word V-E-R-S-A-C-E spelt out in paintbox brights on a black sweatshirt, or encrusted in crystal on the finale piece that gave more leg than dress.

She was more fearsome than ever, except for when she wore duck-egg yellow – everywhere – in laminated-to-the-leg-boots and a swingy coat. Even her shades were yellow. And her bag. A strong editorial look.

But it was hard not to miss the glamour gowns, gloss and bounce, the I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it feel of previous Donatella shows. The times when you’d look at Karlie Kloss and give in to your girl-crush. That was missing here. And while Atelier Versace, the couture collection shown in Paris, now seduces the red carpet clientele, who is the Versace mainline pitched at? It was hard to tell. The sheen and luxury was missing. Except on Donatella herself, in a sleek black pinstripe suit, who looked cooler than ever.

Read Next: