Versace showed a spring 2011 women’s collection Friday, Sept. 24, doing what the brand is supposed to do – presenting loud and proud fashion.
Cut to the figure in a smart new mix of modernist mass-market colors and finished with lots of mini references to the house’s iconic symbols, this was a sizzling collection that earned Donatella Versace her loudest applause in many seasons.
Staged in Versace’s own theatre in south Milan, the show opened with lots of crisp white suits and cocktails, all edged with transparent strips, giving a cool geometric attitude. Gradually the designer injected more and more color, especially a semi-erratic vertical stripe print in cartoon shades of canary yellow, peppery red and faded blue.
Also adding to the sense of occasion was a remarkable remix soundtrack, with added deep pulses, of Malcolm McLaren’s classic hip hop sampler of Bizet’s Carmen.
“I’m an operatic Italian woman, so I need emotion in my collections and my shows,” said Versace backstage post-show.
As the show progressed, Versace’s classic symbols of the architectural Greek key trim or medusa head wafted across the clothes, though in careful doses, always neatly edited. Above all, the cutting was impeccable, taut and strict, and with hyper precise use of shoulder straps and bands across the back.
The mood did slightly falter at the end with too many Chinese fringes that looked a bit cheap in such an otherwise assured show. But it was a minor quibble in a smooth statement of modernist design and dash in a very of-the-moment and devilish Versace display.