VERSACE COLLECTION FALL WINTER 2016/2017

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Donatella Versace’s woman is an urban powerhouse.

The couture collection, presented in Paris last month.  

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Donatella Versace has described her brand’s autumn/winter 2016 collection as daywear, but her definition is not the same as other people’s. 

These clothes were worn by modern Insta – icons of Glamour: Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn and Gigi Hadid, who opened the show in an oversized duffel coat. 

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The fans gathered outside the Milan convention centre where the event took place, in the hope of getting a selfie with their idols, said it all: Versace is a brand about dressing up, designed to be worn by women who want to be seen, whatever time of day it is.

Donatella explained that the collection had partly been inspired by a song called  “Ti Ricordi Di Me? ” –  “Do you remember me?”, which was included in the soundtrack for the show.

“These are clothes that make sure you will be remembered,” she said.

“They are for a Versace woman, a strong woman.”  

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The reference to the song speaks volumes about the hip circles Donatella is moving in. Written by cult Belgian dance duo Soulwax, it is for a fake Italian electropunk band Erasmus, and will appear on the soundtrack for new film Belgica, an award-winner at the Sundance festival last month.

Whatever the quibbles over the right category for these clothes, the collection was strong – perhaps because Donatella is the kind of designer who works hard to reflect the zeitgeist, hence the Insta-models, her own Instagram account and the nod to new cinema releases.
The designs played into what young women wear now – little brightly coloured sequinned backpacks, lower heels, shiny shearling coats. 

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If there was an inherent glamour – something that Versace has in its bones – most of the pieces were wearable, from a printed shirt worn with matching trousers to oversized biker jackets in pastel colours and beautifully cut slip dresses with sequin trim. 

Versace, a brand that has a 90s heritage packed full of supermodels and excess, is in prime position to take advantage of the decade’s revival in fashion.

That was present here in the starry model casting – Donatella described the likes of Hadid and Jenner as “a new generation of top models” – and the baroque print, a reworking of the swirls and filigree often used by Donatella’s brother Gianni.

Transferred on to a background of those icy colours, it felt different. “It’s as if they took the classic print, it exploded in the sky, and reformed,” said Donatella.

“I always try to do something new.” 

The collection turns on daywear, from power suits to athletic-trimmed ribbed knits. Versace said that “every single piece is wearable, desirable, real.”

Men’s jackets are feminised, deconstructed into a dress with a plunging back, or finished with a jagged hemline covered with sequins. Pants are slim fitting, flaring to a cropped ankle or finishing in stirrups, while dresses have hidden zippers, which with a simple pull can reveal or conceal thighs and more.

Gigi Hadid didn’t need a zipper to flash the crowd, inadvertently or not, from the low-cut knit evening dress she was modelling. She got a high-five from the designer as she left the runway.  

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The collection also marked the return of Baroque elements to Versace, with black and white swirls set against psychedelic acid prints. Outerwear ranged from serious dark trenches with leather trip to ladylike pastel tinged white furs. 

For me, this is a wonderful collection.

See

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Beata Gliniecka ; Fashion is the love of my life. That's what I'm writing and creating do with passion!

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