This collection was like a great big hug for the everyday guy from Donatella Versace, who said she’s done with perfection, hot bodies and pretty boys. Instead, she’s interested in real, expressive people who can make connections. “Beauty on its own is boring,” said the designer, who was brimming with energy and conviction ahead of the show. “I want a man who’s imperfect, confident and who’s not afraid to show his personality.”
Versace’s collection was confident, too, and spoke to myriad men — the skater, the boardroom guy, the hippie romantic and the fashionista. She also showcased her women’s resort 2019, which spoke to the men’s wear in so many ways. “It’s the same person,” said the designer, who stacked her runway with famous faces including Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
Fresh feeling and filled with psychedelic colors and swirling patterns, the collection spanned the generations and mixed up old and new house codes. Men wore soft, baggy jeans with wide-shouldered gray pinstripe suit jackets or overcoats right out of the Eighties, while the suits themselves were worn with roomy, untucked shirts. Other tops were Seventies-era snug and covered in a bright flower print on a black background. The ditsy print also stretched to short, chunky knits.
Other shirts were iridescent sheer and floaty — like insect wings in the lush garden of sweet-smelling purple wisteria in the courtyard of the Versace palazzo in Via Gesu, with music coming from the South African duo Faka. Versace’s garden dwellers also wore bright suits — and accessories — in pink and chartreuse green, shining bright as fashion fireflies.
All of the fabrics — and most of the pieces — crisscrossed from men to women, including red faux python for trousers, minis and shirt jackets. Flowery, embellished bucket hats and ribbed knits with sparkle embroidery on the sleeves were genderless, as was a big flower and gold chain pattern that wound its way around the collection.
Versace also worked up a chopped-up tabloid newspaper pattern with flashes of headlines like “Versace Finally Speaks Out,” poking fun at all the news — true, false, salacious and spectacular that the house of Versace has generated for so long. And there was plenty of news in this collection, as Donatella continues on a roll.