PARIS — Prince. Sylvester Stallone. Hugh Grant. If that’s the lineup, it must be a Gianni Versace show. And this couture season, it’s a new, gentler Gianni — who loves pastel suits, perfect coats and satin lapels.
But not long skirts. If “The New Length” is your thing, Gianni is not your boy. He still likes his skirts short and tight, teamed with colored, crocheted stockings and high, high heels. His other big thing was the coatdress — again very short — and it, too, came in his wide-open color palette, everything from acids to pastels. But Gianni’s nicest touch was his tuxedo suit in baby blue, pea green, lavender or turquoise. This wool crepe number with satin lapels might just be the suit of the season.
Versace’s new colored boleros have added some oomph to the shearling craze, and his faux snakeskin suits should rev up all those ladies who like to wrap themselves in serpents. “It’s technological couture,” Versace said, explaining the new, heat-embossed leathers.
At night, Gianni mixed the good with the bad. Some of his evening dresses were tailoring triumphs, while others just shimmered out. There was too much chainmail and too many giant pailletes and tiny pieces of mirror. It didn’t fit in with the new mood Gianni said he was trying to set.
And maybe Versace should think twice about inviting Prince: He makes a dull guest even with his caked-on makeup and Lucite cane. No rock star should nod off at a fashion show. And would it really kill him to clap once or twice?