Sufficient pre-buzz marked the pairing of Anthony Vaccarello, the young Italian designer known for provocatively sexy clothes, and Donatella Versace.

It was no surprise that Sunday night’s event to unveil the collaboration had all the right ingredients for a high-voltage fashion affair: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Naomi Campbell and Jennifer Hudson in the front row; a big party set to follow the show, and the clothes available immediately on the brand’s Web site.

Vaccarello opened with a parade of little black dresses and tailored looks, some slashed and held together with gold piercings. Sound familiar? The signature Medusa was replaced by a lion, which was sometimes featured within acrylic insets. Vaccarello also used the Grecian key pattern throughout, as well as neoclassic column and bust motifs on, for example, a languid shirtdress unbuttoned below the waist over shorts.

It all read classic Versace, but tempered for the Versus girl’s youth and wallet. If that was the intention, mission accomplished. But if the point was for Vaccarello to bring something new to the Versus vernacular, he didn’t push far enough. It’s likely, too, that the speed-to-market goal played into some design decisions. Clothes that are available after a show tend to look like, well, clothes that are available after a show.

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