Saturday, September 25, 2010

The long and the short of it...


If you were to play a word association game and the chosen word was Versace, I'd be willing to bet that "restrained" wouldn't be a response. Let's face it, there are dozens of adjectives that can be used to describe Versace, but words like restrained, minimal and spare aren't among them. Leave it to Donatella when she's in the mood for something different to change that perception.

Everything about the collection feels extremely focused and considered, from the restricted color palette to the sharply tailored (and limited) silhouettes. Even the house's signature Greek key pattern, which hasn't made an appearance on the runway in a while, was used very carefully in abstract painterly prints or as PVC/patent leather insets or appliques. Nothing about the collection, not even the silk fringe that was the only embellishment on evening dresses, felt excessive. But despite the rigor displayed in the clothes the collection recalls so much of the house's past. Watching the video I saw a lot of Gianni in the collection, although to me the collection doesn't feel burdened by references to his work. It's classic Versace but Donatella really made the look her own. None of Gianni's work that I remember was quite this slick or controlled. This being a Versace collection there's certainly no shortage of sex appeal, but this time around there's something about it that's very grown up and, dare I say it, sophisticated.

I haven't been this nuts about a Versace collection in a few years. Something about it feels genuinely fresh, unlike anything that's been seen from the house in recent memory. While the fall collection also had a graphic quality to it, I think this collection achieved much more appealing results. I do have a couple of complaints which I almost feel bad bringing up, but can't avoid. The first is the total lack of pants. I can appreciate that Donatella presented an extremely uncompromising vision - that's something to respect a designer - but considering how sharp the tailoring in this show was I wouldn't have minded a few looks based around this season's pant. But then I may just be idealizing that in my head and in reality pants would have lessened the overall impact of the presentation. The second complaint is the gowns at the end. To me they feel less like the logical conclusion of the collection and more like meeting an expectation. People expect gowns from Versace, and if we're being honest Versace does them well, but the three that made it onto the runway, all of them made of fringe built onto bodices and swinging from the skirt, weren't as strong as all of the pieces that had come before. They weren't necessary, and they weren't the best I've ever seen from Donatella, though I will grant that they also were not predictable Versace gowns, either. Ultimately the good far outweighs the bad in this collection though. It's a wonderful synthesis between past and future, and the result couldn't be more perfect for the present.

all images from

1 comment:

LOla said...

One of my top collection of the season.
I haven't been excited by a Versace collection since SS09. This collection is different but in a kind of Deja Vu way. The spirit remind me a lot Donatella's early collection and the extreme body conscious silhouette remind me Gianni but with a twist!
I like the severity in that and the lack of Vavavoom!
It's clean, sexy, desirable but VERY VERY Versace...I like this new direction and it's just perfect!

The only dissapointment is the casting: For this collection i need Daria, Carmen and all the queens of catwalk because these models needs to learn how to walk decently.