In Donatella Versace’s latest SS20 creations, she has stirred the imagination and reinvented styles reminiscent of days past thru to the start of the millennium with a celebration of “the dress” and a psychedelic dreamscape design amongst nearly gender-neutral ideals, which she made known by including in her menswear show some of her favorite female models, Gigi, Bella, Adut Akech, Stella Maxwell and Dazed 100’s Mona Tougaard, with her entourage of male models.
Most recently, at Milan Fashion Week, she returned to celebrate the anniversary of the eye-catching dress introduced by the legendary J-Lo on the red carpet 20 years ago. Versace recreated variations of the exotic Jungle print with the dominant colors throughout the collection being tropical green, yellow, orange and pink.
Not left unsaid, Versace’s LBD (little black dress) and business suits complimented by handbags of various sizes and prints all carrying the trademarked “V”, laced-up stilettos and sandals, and over-sized sunglasses made the viewers feel the air of luxury that emanated from each outfit. Along with the ballooned shoulders, the tie-dyed stockings were sure to draw your attention.
This celebration could only be brought to a finale with J-Lo walking the runway in the original femme fatale dress and striking a fierce pose with the equally legendary Donatella.
Earlier in the year, Donatella opened her runway at her menswear SS20 representing a sophisticated business style for both male and female in cinched leather trench coats, worn with an azure blue dress shirt and a narrow black tie, but with different variations of bottoms from short pants and skirts to full-length pants. This collection featured various chimera-designed suits handcrafted with dual patterns of grey pinstripes, mixed with solid black jackets and cross-matched with contrasting styles of pants reflecting one or the other pattern. Standout pieces were the pinstriped jacket and pants made of a beautiful shiny material. On their feet, the models wore different selections of leopard printed ankle-length boots, mules, shoe-stringed stilettos and sneakers; and, both men and women carried similar variations of large and small handbags.
The designs transitioned flawlessly into a selection of day wear aimed at enticing a younger, more carefree, crowd through leather jackets with fringed designs worn over t-shirts, hoodies, jeans and miniskirts. Once again, the leopard prints mixed with patterns or solid designs worn over tie-dyed shirts were also part of the dual-designed chimera-style introduction. The vibe of this carefree design carried over into the accessories worn by the models through their baseball caps, clutches and handbags covered in silver ringed holes (matching the pants and skirts worn), ankle or mid-calf length socks with Versace’s signature, and giant hooped earrings.
The final selections showed an array of evening wear filled with soft loose-bottomed pantsuits in an array of vivid or pastel baroque prints, including shirts, skirts, shorts and long pants with sports car and urn motifs. Here, the leopard print is accompanied by various iridescent patterns on fun pantsuits and elegant cocktail dresses. These playful designs brought a sense of airiness to the collection worn by both genders along with sneakers, ankle-length boots and thick-heeled sandals. Many models, including the men, carried playful clutches shaped like cupcakes or fanny-packs draped over the shoulder. Other accessories were full leopard print stockings.
The finale was a black soft fabric sequence pantsuit, with the jacket worn opened over a matching black bra and peek-a-boo hip hugging thongs for the women, and a see-thru black t-shirt for the men.
It was apparent from the beginning of the show that Donatella Versace wanted to show homage to her friend, the late singer Keith Flint of the band The Prodigy, who passed away in March of this year, as models would occasionally step out in various spiky hairstyles of bright yellow, turquoise, royal blue, fuchsia, iridescent orange and pink, similar to the style Flint wore. The Prodigy soundtrack for the runway was also a celebration and recognition of that friendship.
Donatella’s imagination seems limitless and can only entice us to wait anxiously for what her next season will bring.
Photographs © IMAXtree.com.