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Versace's Vintage Mishmash

The mix didn’t always work. But when it did, it was testament to Donatella’s ongoing confidence in making Versace her own.
Versace Spring/Summer 2019 | Source: Indigital.tv
By
  • Tim Blanks
BoF PROFESSIONAL

MILAN, Italy — Versace's epochal Spring/Summer 2018 show was like the Big Bang. We will feel its echoes rippling through seasons to come, sharpening anticipation. The brand's presentation on Friday night was a case in point. Was there a supermodel guest from the Golden Age? Yes. Shalom Harlow was last woman out. Was there a silk scarf moment? Yes. Gorgeous, pale collages of them. Was there maximal body consciousness? Well, duh!

But anticipation courts predictability, a bullet Donatella managed to dodge on Friday. After Autumn/Winter's clannish tribalism, this collection ranged far and wide, from stripes, checks and a colour palette straight out of the 1970s to slashed, scarfed gypsy looks. The casual slippery bias-cut sensuality of dresses slit high on the thigh had a less structured feel than usual. The draping and ruching was artful.

The cat’s eye makeup and the block-heeled pumps contributed to a curious vintage edge that felt different — maybe odd — for Versace. But it didn’t jar, even when the easy flow of the collection was punctuated here and there by abbreviated leather looks which were less successful.

You could walk away from this with all sorts of goodies: a lustrous black leather blazer, a glossy faux python coat, a hipslung skirt with a light ruffle and sensual slit. The mood was mishmash, which meant it didn't always work. But when it did, it was testament to Donatella's ongoing confidence in making Versace her own.

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