“Go big — and go home,” was Donatella Versace’s rallying cry for this joyful, post-modern mash-up of preppy, punk, street — and Versace Home accessories. She said the season was all about “dressing in layers” and smiled as she talked about the home furnishings flourishes on the clothes: Thick, gold fabric fringe snaking its way across jackets and sweatshirts, fabric tassels swinging from bags and belt hoops, and bold swirling medallion prints on puffers, coats and long hoodie tops.
This standout collection had an exaggerated, Archie Comics feel to it — but more the updated Riverdale version — what with the bright, clashing colors, mixed-up plaid patchworks and printed silks. The designer sliced up tartans of different shapes, colors and sizes and patched them back together for men’s and women’s jackets, coats and quilted shirts, and layered turtlenecks and sweaters in eye-searing shades of orange, lime green and fuchsia under sharply tailored pinstripe suits. Velvets covered with Versace medallion and shadowy stained-glass window prints were scattered across stretchy dresses, puffers with attitude and fluid track bottoms that could have doubled as pajamas.
A tiger print prowled across long coats and short jackets while a more romantic Venus and Cupid one flashed across electric bright silk tops. Versace certainly went big — and then outdid herself with the footwear fit for Frankenstein: Combat boots with thick soles and gold studs and buckles, and a new line of printed sneakers with pumped-up soles called Chain Reaction. They’re set to drop online in two months and are sure to sell out immediately.
While Versace was thinking big — and bigger — she never lost control. She’s clearly aware that not every man wants to look hyper-real all the time, hence those fine pinstripe suits, the navy double-breasted ones with the pointed lapels and the long, swooshing camel coat with white buttons that opened her show. It was one of her best men’s collections in a while — and one of the stars of the early Milan season.