At a time when brands are flexing their DNA, this was Versace on steroids, with its main protagonist a gladiator-boxer type with a blonde Adonis coif and muscles galore. The show kicked off on a steamy note: A parade of skimpy trunks and briefs from the house’s new swimwear and underwear collection, worn under flowing satin robes cinched with a wide wrestling belt.
The Versace man is all about excess, the kind of guy who wears macho medallion jewelry and isn’t shy of flashy fabrics. Donatella Versace described her hero as a “tough pugilist champion” who is part Rocky, part Elvis and part Mr. T. The collection included shiny double-breasted suits with metallic shirts and ties, floral denim, sweet pastels lifted from Miami’s Art Deco buildings, broderie anglaise effects on jackets and shirts and sleeveless jackets with superhero shoulders that were simply too much.
Unapologetically masculine in attitude, the show was also supercamp. In terms of fashion entertainment, it was a knockout.