To a great extent, if not entirely, the digital sphere defines current times. In that regard, Donatella Versace had to consider the Internet in her quest to “redefine Versace for the world today,” as she said backstage before her fall show. Not interested in recasting the house archives for the umpteenth time, she looked online, maybe from the portal of her preferred mobile device, and let its bright, immediate and totally visual language permeate her design process.
Versace titled the show #Greek, and she was not shy about her objectives. The clothes were designed to register with jolts of color, kookiness and suggestive charm in this fleeting cluster of an Instagram world, the one in which Jeremy Scott is king of Milan fashion. The emphasis was on day clothes, which have never been the house priority, that delivered Versace sleekness with crazy color and a lot of branding.
The show opened with a long, tailored black trench cut out over one leg to reveal a thigh-high, red patent leather boot with an oddball long, pointy toe and small square heel. The trench’s belt was embroidered with the Greek key logo, which also appeared on the turtleneck peeking out from under the coat. The logo escalated throughout the collection: on the hosiery worn under a pin-striped blazer; the graphic knit top worn with cropped bell-bottom pants; the wild rainbow prints on a molded jacket and flared skirt; and the embossed lettering on sweatshirts. It reached a crescendo on the finale of cocktail minis embroidered with sequined mash-ups of Greek keys, @ signs, hashtags and the letters that spell out Versace. “It’s our new symbol,” said the designer. “It’s the past going to the future for the Internet.”
For the Internet. That’s the answer for anyone confused by the direction of the collection, which was unquestionably upbeat and bold, though not necessarily fresh. If she served the youth-driven social-media set a visual feast, Versace sacrificed some of the chic that’s as essential to her house as sex, sizzle and fun.