MILAN, Italy — Donatella Versace’s invitation was friendly. “Meet at my place,” it read. So we did, in the back garden, where the oleanders were in full, furious bloom. And we saw clothes that felt a bit like old friends too, pinstripes and rococo silk prints being pillars of Versace’s menswear for decades. But they’d been refreshed, untucked, reconstituted in new ways, like the shirts that spliced prints, or the suit-turned-school-uniform, or the pinstripes rendered in silver chain.
The house signatures were well and truly PowerPopped, with aerodynamic hair to match. Good lord, there were even cotton velour tracksuits in baby blue and powder pink (and one in gold lamé if the pastels were too tame for you). Even the most serious piece in the collection — a studded black leather coat — had been patched together in a way that defused its portent, because Versace had little use for seriousness here.
There was an odd quibble with the sensational capsule collection of womenswear that weaved its way through the show. It used the same house elements — the Greek key, the black-and-white op graphics, the silks and suitings — but it structured them in a glamazonian way, so that Donatella’s Wonder Women inevitably overpowered her men (though, to be fair, they were already erring on the side of boyishness in their shorts and caps). The soundtrack left a major clue to the subtext. “Do you want to feel in control?” intoned the chanteuse. There was little doubt who on the runway those words were referring to.