Dispatches from London: Versus

A sex-infused, rock-rebel collection

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The Strypes’ live bass reverberated through our rib cages and epilepsy-inducing strobe lighting kicked it all off. In true Versus style, the collection pounded out.

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Donatella Versace, (who watched the show beside FKA Twigs) and Versus’ creative director Anthony Vaccarello were in town last night with their sex-infused, rock-rebel collection that was available to buy immediately after the show. Or after the after-show party, to which they’d invited 500 guests.

This wasn’t their first London unveiling. The pair had shown their Versus pre-spring collection here back in May in a suitably dingy East End warehouse. ‘In May we sold out of those safety pin dresses,’ said Vaccarello backstage at last night’s (not so dingy) show venue that had all but recreated the Versace palazzo in Milan, complete with flashing floors. ‘I think people just really want the most iconic pieces that make you feel you’re part of the Versace world,’ he added.

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To that end, he played up the heritage pieces and dipped into the archives in his quest to make Versus as recognisable as Versace. So, large silver V medallions were winking all over a micro leather shift dress or ran around a bra strap, from which long chiffon fabric flowed – a nod to the lighter, freer mood of the moment. And a large silver brooch in the shape of a lion’s head door-knocker was pinned to a liquorice leather shirt. As for the silhouette, it was deeply rooted in Versace World – meaning slit up to there or plunging front and back, all sinuous, all sexy. One dress, worn by Erin Wasson, a backless number that exposed her entire flank, save a few straps, was straight out of the Gianni Versace history books.

But, for Vaccarello, a man for whom black knows no bounds, there was a shock moment that kept on coming. Print. Loads of it.  First, in swirls of florals on a black base, naturally, then a smaller quirkier print that ran up skewer slim trousers and blousons. It featured a pineapple. That seemed funny. Until he mentioned that he had pinched it from a line the late Gianni Versace used to produce called Istante.

Adding to the feel of youth-cool was a section of denim, printed again, but this time with Doric columns as an addition to the quirky florals. It looked good. And cool. And very Versace.

See it. Love it. Buy it. Now.

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