Versace’s new espionage style
today Jan 13, 2019
The invitation for the latest Versace runway show was suitably mysterious – a brown manila dossier marked "Confidential". Worthy of the FBI or Stasi. Inside a telegram-like typography invited each guest to the first pure menswear show since the house of Versace was sold last year for some two billion euros to an American fashion conglomerate that has now rechristened itself as Capri.
Versace had already presented an admired pre-collection in New York before the new owners. This was Donatella’s first on her home turf since the start of the new regime. Though, as it happened, Capri CEO John Idol did not attend the event.
In the end, there was precious little spy-wear or James Bond imagery in this show, despite the invite. But the odd femme fatale, in a co-ed collection, Kaia Gerber, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski made appearances. The latter pair came in an off-the-shoulder down jacket and mini black dress ensemble held together with gold Medusa chains (Bella); and a sexy widow, all black lingerie look (Emily).
There was also a gutsy modern wardrobe with multiple options for the guys. From bold pale gray Prince of Wales check suits worn with chunky white sneakers; to an awesome cheetah-print fur coat worn by a model whose short hair was dyed the same color; to a brilliant mega-houndstooth pea coat with wing span collars. All told, taking classical tailoring and subverting it with panache.
“What I wanted to show in this collection are the different facets of a man, who, like everyone, dresses according to the occasion and has gained the courage that he didn’t have before. If I had to find a word that defines today’s men, it would be daring,” said Donatella in her pre-show press release.
Curiously, with newspapers throughout Europe dominated by reports on the rioting Gilets Jaunes, Donatella sent out a half dozen canary yellow looks from a Michelin Man tire-shaped down jacket to a magnificent top coat worthy of a platinum album selling rock star, to a giant duffle coat with contrasting beige patch pockets.
In the end, Donatella took her bow in tight black flares and a taut silk top done in the same bondage leather strap print seen on several looks in the show.
She kept a tight, largely closed backstage post show, though her mood was unquestionably ebullient. Just like these clothes.
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