Some things are made to go together; gin and tonic, strawberries and cream, salt and vinegar, say, so too Anthony Vaccarello and Versace. He – the master of the slit and slashed minidress and pioneer of all-out sex appeal often delivered on leggy best friend, Anja Rubik; and Versus, the sidekick of Versace, the Italian house that practically invented sex – are a match made in heaven.
Half of the battle of a house producing a winning collection is in the hiring of a designer who just “gets it” and the hiring of the Belgian (of Italian descent) here is not much short of genius. Bravo to whoever cooked up that contract. One can only imagine the fun Vaccarello must have had mining the archives. It must have felt like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once. Gold! Medusa heads! Bondage strapping! Safety pin dresses! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
All of that was whipped up tonight (even, including BFF Rubik). There were so many brilliant looks here today and here’s the crux of it, and really, where others before him have perhaps failed; he kept it simple. Firstly, it was almost all black with gold accents, well, why over-complicate matters when that will do just nicely? It wasn’t all thigh skimming miniskirts, there were some great low-slung tailored trousers partnered up with bondage-backed bodysuits boasting gold chokers as halter necks, as delicate as fine jewellery, and elsewhere, unbuttoned black silk shirts (sometimes, combining the two into a fierce jumpsuit). He rendered the medusa head into super desirable belts, and re-proposed the safety pin dress into a neat proposition for now.
And even better news: it’s all available to buy online now. One question, what are you still doing reading this?
Knowing Donatella Versace’s love of balls-out rock, thinking back to the Versus show in New York and St. Vincent’s storming performance at the after-party, it’s easy to assume that what Donatella was a direct reflection of her recent experiences. Straightforward silhouettes, bold color, and no embellishment added up to her strongest collection in a long time. She didn’t need to fanny around with eveningwear. That’s what couture is for. Instead, she offered a starkly modernist, color-blocked, crystal mesh take on cocktail dresses (the kind of cocktail that will carry you through till dawn—and a lifetime of regret).
True, the crystal mesh was a slam dunk in the vein of vintage Versace, but the real achievements of this collection lay elsewhere: in the comparatively quiet sophistication of the prints, the Warholian reconceptualization of the house’s Medusa signature, the motif of rings artfully dissected with real metal. And in the hyper-athleticism of pared-back pieces bifurcated by angular graphic sashes. Or in the peculiar, naive energy of sharp black tailoring defined by oversize white stitching. It was like there had been some kind of overlay on Versace, a sensibility that was slightly to the left of the label’s tradition. Slinky sexy, yes, but also fiercely don’t-give-a-damn physical.