At Versus Versace: Games of Skin
Donatella Versace marched out proudly, stonking her high-heeled boots over the black-and-white faux-marble floor, with designer Anthony Vaccarello, in skinny jeans and sneakers, at her side.
I have heard a lot over the years about a designer’s DNA – meaning getting to the heart of a fashion vision. And that happened with the new designer at this Versus Versace collection, which has previously been explored by British designers Christopher Kane and Jonathan Anderson.
I have been following at the Paris shows the Belgian/Italian Vaccarello’s games of skin – flashes of flesh in sharply cut clothes. In New York, it all came together.
As the models posed on scarlet stairs at the start of the after-party, I saw the essence of Versus: bare legs, short skirts, square necklines, sharply tailored coats, shiny black belts, gilded buckles or gold buttons on a split-side, floor-sweeping, sporty gown.
None of this was a revelation. But Vaccarello took the essence of the look and gave it an erotic minimalism – right down to a re-interpretation of the safety pins holding cloth over flesh that put Elizabeth Hurley on the global fashion map 20 years ago.
A soft white shirt with skinny trousers or a tailored shirtdress with Medusa patterning brought the collection forward to this millennium. Like the flesh-revealing black dresses, the collection could have been sliced in half, yet had the same impact.
But this really was a Versus Versace moment.