There was a peacock feel to this high-energy collection of citrus-y brights, crystal sparkles and patterned silks that crossed easily from men to women – and back again. Donatella Versace said she wanted her man to be free to express himself, whether it’s with a bright orange marabou boa, “La Cage aux Folles” style, or with an office-ready gray check suit.
“Only a confident man is able to see beyond the status quo and challenge it,” the designer declared in her liner notes. “This newly found attitude gives him the freedom and security to ignore conventional norms around beauty, and even more so, around masculinity.”
Was it a collaboration with Ford that got Versace all revved up this season? The Italian brand adopted the swirly blue Ford logo as a motif on trousers, miniskirts, shirts and a lovely color-blocked leather jacket with a retro feel. Versace said the brand teamed with Ford to channel the “excitement of buying your first car,” and the masculine energy around a powerful engine.
Even the pieces without the Ford branding had extra horsepower, what with the gray plaid suits broken apart and spliced with colorful knits or patterned silks, jeans with crystals spilling down the front and coats of many colors. Big and gutsy, they came long and leopard-printed, in electric pink with broad shoulders, in bright yellow with lime toggles, and as a puffer-trench the color of Big Bird.
Men and women alike wore bright, bejeweled wooly caps, little cross-body bags and a pileup of ski sweaters and Versace-branded scarves that should keep them warm even in the coldest and dampest of Milanese winters.
Allergic to color and pattern? Versace had that one covered, too, with gray suits in a very fine V pattern and darkly transparent trenches and trousers with a bondage vibe. Other suits, for the “Saturday Night Fever” crowd, were satiny black, tailored, adorned with gold chains and medallion or two.
Put the pedal to the metal, Donatella.