MFW AW18: Versace

BRINGING the va-va-voom right from the offset deep blood-red leather, platform shoes, and of course, the iconic gold chainmail opened the Versace AW18 show, held in the palatial Scalone Arengario above the Piazza Duomo. Different variations of the label’s iconic red, yellow and black-patterned motif graced the runway in a variety of textiles, techniques, and textures. The collection was vibrant and clean.

College school references were alluded to with purple and yellow checks, branded scarfs and sheer diamond-check socks. And although the collection was somewhat uniform each look was unique and had its own character. A school of supermodels past, present, and those in the making, the show celebrated Raquel Zimmermann, Anja Rubik, and Catherine McNeil as the early ‘00s favourites,  Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, and Kaia Gerber as the current stars, and finally the new generation of supermodels Adut Akech, Shanelle Nyasiase, and Meghan Roche. Donatella Versace, the creative director, is all about female empowerment and this show reinforced that.

As the show continued Versace’s spirit resonated deeper and deeper. The clashing prints, bright colours, and feminine silhouettes were playful and memorable. Tapping into current trends some models wore chunky sports trainers and chunky waist belts. After Richard Quinn’s AW18 show earlier this week, that had the Queen as a guest and brought the silk scarf accessory back in the limelight, we didn’t think anything could top it. But Versace’s AW18 collection is a strong contender.

The head-to-toe print look, on closer inspection, is made entirely out of the same silk scarf. The scarfs were the main feature and were manipulated to create fringe, sleek leggings, and a bomber jacket. Donatella Versace’s collection, like SS18, was a testament to her brother Gianni, but this season with her own twist. Butterflies, Warholian pop art, golden baroque swirls were still a feature but with fabric manipulation that breathed a new life into the 90s gems.

The shoe collection on display was masterful. Unzipped billowing boots, studded heels, and platform boots and loafers to name a few. Versace AW18 took a modern approach to the tailored suit by adding a corset to the blazer to make it appear like a playsuit. Stand out pieces were the oversized, bow detailed, puffa jacket with gold pins and the fringed tasselled boots. With a fearless attitude towards clashing prints and colours, and an appreciation of women past, present and future, the Versace show displayed no boundaries.

by Lily Rimmer

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