Donatella Versace, never a woman to do things by halves, recreated the roof of the Roman Pantheon to house her catwalk show. The domed structure housed the rows of seating for the audience and its walls featured digital art installations. In the centre was a golden palm sculpture – alluding to what was to come.
The collection opened by reinventing the little black dress, taking it to new heights with a sense of poise and purpose. Looks were clearly for the modern working woman – professional, yet elegant and feminine. Bella Hadid wore a white, square-shouldered shirt under a black pinafore style dress with strap sandals.
In a celebration of colour, a series of brighter looks followed in pink, orange and, the colour of the season, green. Oversized, balloon sleeved anoraks commanded the eye, making the crowd wish for summer showers to give them an excuse to wear one.
Prints were central to the SS20 collection, none more so than the infamous tropical palm print. Suits were splashed with a wash of colour, blue and green, with palm leaves clinging to limbs. Embellishments were also key – dresses were decked with sequins and long metallic tassels in a ruby red colour. Some sequins were drawn into clusters to form a flower shape, adding to the impression of being lost among flora and fauna in the depths of the jungle.
Just when everyone thought the show was over, one of the digital screens lit up with Donatella Versace typing, “Okay google, show me the Versace jungle dress”. A screen full of images appeared before Donatella asked, “No, show me the real Versace jungle dress”, at which point none other than Jennifer Lopez walked out, wearing an iteration of her iconic green silk chiffon dress which she had worn to the Grammy Awards in 2000.
Crowds clambered to get a better view of the singer. Lopez swaggered down the catwalk with powerful strides, grabbing Donatella’s hand as she passed by. The two posed for photos before disappearing backstage, and with that, the show was over.
by Alicia Pountney