“I lost her for a while, but now she’s back — and I’m so happy,” said Donatella Versace of the latest incarnation of Versus — a sporty gal who can easily swap her heels for slides, and wants a bit of comfort in her everyday and nightclubbing wardrobe.
Versace is back at the helm of the collection she first designed two decades ago, and there are no plans to replace designer Anthony Vaccarello, who took over as creative director of Saint Laurent earlier this year. “I have a fun team — they stop at nothing — and we’ve re-energized the brand,” Versace said.
Her Millennial madam is more laid-back than in past seasons, with Versace describing the collection as “fresh, feminine, utilitarian and utopian.”
Early designs were tested on staff members — and if they weren’t comfortable, they were gone. Those that made the cut were sleek and sporty — all with the brand’s punky edge.
They included sleeveless swingy wool mini-kilt dresses, slashed knits, piles of skinny, black stretchy trousers and leather jackets. There were flashes of that signature Versace chain mail, too, as handkerchief-like panels at the sides of short black dresses.
Versace and her team also fused metal mesh onto distressed denim where it glinted from beneath tears in the jeans, and from the underside of slashed knits.
Utilitarian materials played a big role, too, with parachute and wetsuit fabrics worked into designs — the former was used for cropped or long army green puffer jackets, and the latter for short dresses with tiny V-shaped details along the seams, one of which Versace was wearing during a pre-show walk-through. Hers was skinny and short with cutouts and zips, while others had skater skirts.
There were also clingy, long-sleeved T-shirt dresses — done in a mix of olive and black, or an eye-searing shade of tangerine — and ribbed knits galore, adorned with removable, reusable Velcro patches.
This was an energetic, commercial-minded comeback for youngsters who want their first jolt of Versace.