A little “Alice in Wonderland” and a whole lot of classic Versace. The combination made for a terrific spring romp from Donatella Versace. It was exciting, and tons of fun, to watch Versace revel in the house codes of flamboyance and overt sexiness, especially since she did so while staying au courant and without turning a touch vulgar. As for Alice, who captured the designer’s fancy via Tim Burton’s much-anticipated film, the nods came more in the collection’s sense of visual adventure than anything else. Still, one could scour for a few reference-worthy ideas beyond the charming rabbit print — through-the-looking-glass (as in plastic) dresses and skirts, a metal-bodiced gown glam enough to make any White Queen proclaim, “On with the dress!”
But red-carpet dressing was not Versace’s focus. She preferred to linger on short, feisty fare for day and cocktail. Almost everything was printed, embellished or both: chain-mail colored for optic pop, little leather triangles embedded with crystals and assembled with whipcord into a frock. Though most dresses were of the hourglass variety — a pink print with plunging neckline, a yellow bustier festooned with silver metallic tubing down the front — Versace also showed a pair of sweet baby dolls. Nor did these come at the expense of sportier fare. After a fall collection focused on dresses, Versace here showed parallel affinity for racy suits and micro-skirts paired with body-hugging tops. As for that terrific tan leather coat with pretty pastel trim, every girl has to cover up once in a while, even in Wonderland.