The late Gianni Versace was a master at merging operatic colors, theatrical
silhouettes, and a Fellini-esque sensuality into bravura design. His
legacy’s lingering effects still have bearing on the fashion empire
he built. Since Donatella’s earlier efforts to divorce her style
from her brother’s bequest by creating all leather ensembles for
nocturnal rocker-chicks met more criticism than acclaim, it has become
clear that exploiting the past while revamping the future is the infamous
Blondie’s recipe for success. That is exactly why this season the
royal sister is going back to her roots; creating distinctive, at-the-edge
designs for glamorous sirens.
With her opening piece-- an impeccably tailored
ivory coat with nipped waist and massive shawl collars-- Donatella
proved her prowess at employing luxurious geometry to render timeless
elegance. Later ‘wrapping’ the
cloth around the body, in true classical Gianni tradition, the designer
let the female form expresses itself through fabric and cut. This revealing
of the body, not through nudity but through dramatic sexy attire, brought
back memories of the days when the Versace name resonated with pure
Incorporating eighties elements like asymmetrical collars,
bat sleeves, ruche details, deep revers, and graduated tiered tucks
into a contemporary sensibility, Signora Versace reinvigorated her creations.
The new Versace look is defined by crisp sophistication and polished
flair. Finally, Donatella’s key-hole dresses with attached arms
and slashed yokes, cigarette trousers, pencil skirts, tailored jackets,
off-the-shoulder silk jersey draped tops, and cashmere sweaters; cast
in solid black, white, turquoise, lime, and fuchsia, appear to be made
for a divinity, not a dominatrix.
Donatella recently completed a highly
publicized stint in rehab and without a doubt the reclaiming of her
sobriety shines through every aspect of this well-conceived collection.
Ms. Versace is once again tailoring beautiful clothes that push the
aesthetic limits of the avant-garde. Indeed, a glimpse at her show-stopper
red carpet gowns, embellished by intricate beadwork and elaborate
details, will convince the most avid cynic that Donatella has triumphed
over gothic demons.