Talk about the Versace woman and a plethora of names come to mind, from music sensations Lady Gaga and Madonna, to Instagram models Gigi and Bella Hadid, not to mention the ‘90s supermodels the Medusa brand helped catapult to stardom. On top of that, one could easily say that Donatella Versace herself is the epitome of the Versace girl.
Yet the chief creative officer sensed one question had remained unanswered: Who’s the Versace man?
Versace hinted at a response with her fall collection, presented off-schedule, via a video and separately from the women’s lineup, thus moving away from the coed format the house embraced in 2020.
To be sure the luxury brand has provided some memorable red carpet and on-stage looks for the likes of Bruno Mars and Maluma, but as for providing clothes men crave on a daily basis, Versace opines they deserve to be in the limelight, too.
“This collection introduces Versace Men’s 2.0. Launching this new chapter on the second day of the second month in 2022 feels right. It represents a next step and moves forward, not focusing on the singular but on multiplicity, progression and diversity — exactly what I see valued by the new generation and the way they express their masculinity in so many refreshing ways,” Versace said. “This collection embraces that by looking not at the Versace man but to the Versace men.”
It was a terrific effort, for all its reinvention of men’s tropes with a very Versace sensibility for the bold and flamboyant, sassy and daring, this time handsomely restrained, with the house’s key codes stripped down to the essential — and more effective because of it.
The new creative elan, more approachable and inclusive, reverberated across the lineup. Gianni Versace’s sartorial prowess echoed in the tailoring looks which came with super wide pants and unlined blazers covered in exquisite watercolor- and chalk-like renditions of traditional men’s patterns including checks, windowpanes and pinstripe paired with leopard-patterned knitted vests.
The same pant style was seen throughout the collection and was rendered in a few captivating nuances including a fuchsia version paired with a deep purple overcoat in neat satin or grandpa-chic knitwear sets bearing argyle patterns peppered with Lurex threads or cable knits that exuded a dash of sensuality.
Versace homed in on the Barocco and Greca motifs but made them more approachable by streamlining color combinations to just orange and fuchsia and purple and turquoise and honoring the Gianni-cum-Donatella aesthetic of more is more by piling the two patterns on baseball shirts layered over button downs and Barocco-bearing duffle coats over pajama sets covered in Greca prints.
For all the confidence these clothes exuded, their off-kilter flourishes, such as the exaggerated silhouettes and liquid-looking silky fabrics, indicated a more intimate detour.
Back to the opening question: who’s the Versace man? One could argue there are many — and they all look jazzy and snazzy.