If the red carpet is a sport (and we know that it kind of is in the proverbial sartorial sense) and couture its weapon of choice (which again, we kind of know it is), then look to Donatella Versace to design the uniforms. There was an athletic freshness from the designer’s atelier collection this evening: encrusted and bejewelled racer-back gowns that seemed to be spun from a web of beading that contoured the body when it wasn’t being celebrated or accentuated through slashes and slices for signature diced creations of sass and splendor – the sort that only Versace can do.
Of course, you need to be confident to pull off these sorts of numbers – confident that you have the occasion to wear them, confident that your body will look good in them, confident full stop. But Versace encourages this. Why not hop on board? Gigi, et al smouldering away in their athlo-tuxes, dripping in fluoro neon chains, was surely enough to get you back on the January I-will-be-good wagon even if you’ve fallen off. And if couture can do that, that’s surely a good thing.
Gone were last season’s Mid-summer Night’s maidens in favor of something modern with palette-cleansing appeal. It worked. White, orange, egg-shell blue, and black – a tight color edit does wonders; it provides focus and fashion nous. And that’s what any modern wardrobe is surely looking for these days.
Of course couture lends itself to dresses, lots and lots of dresses – but there were great tux riffs going on here with miniskirts, or alight with beads for some serious pow-wow (noted in fashion show terms when everyone’s fingers fumble for the shot). And add to that a handful of lean and lithe numbers that drew on the semantics of the Nineties supermodel heyday.
There were a couple of Halloween moments for dresses that sauntered with splaying hems and cobwebs silhouetting in black. Others had a vortex mentality in cerulean splays of graphic body grappling, but the overall idea had futuristic appeal which felt fresh for couture where so often we get lost among an over-imagined fairy tale, or conversely something that isn’t magic enough.
Footnote: it’s always worth paying attention to the lyrics of the songs played at a Versace show. “I move to the beat of my own drum,” they cried. Is there any other Donatella way?