Urban Cowboy Powerplay at Versace Menswear AW14

“Passion and love and sex and money – violence, religion, injustice and death,” the epithets stipulated by the Pet Shop Boys in 1986’s Paninaro, pertaining to the archetypal Italian paninaro boy of the decade. A celebration of the Italian youth subculture, the song also name checks Gianni’s fabled second name, while the fashion house was progressively galvanising Italianate fashion. Now, with AW 14, in which Donatella has once again ramped up the intensity of the menswear mainline, with a delightful audacity, she has almost depicted a paninaro Adonis of the future.



The seethingly visceral, Hi-NRG climate which was propagated by Versace in Milan on Saturday, far from the vapid or superficial, offered a riveting, admirable ideology from Donatella, boldly proclaiming “I wanted this collection to be a celebration of individuality and the freedom to be whoever you want to be, in the face of all the oppression in the world right now.”



The bounds of masculine identity were stretched by casting the biker-cum-cowboy, dripping in sinfully decadent leather, against a flash of euro-fash, with mercilessly sharp, strong-shouldered suits in cashmere and baby camel, recollecting the uncompromising lines of extremist Claude Montana. Fabulous triumphs include the quintessential silk shirts and baroque Versace embellishments, gold hues increasingly becoming the lustrous stock-in-trade, portfolio bags that take no prisoners with sly, S&M imbued handcuffs attached on chains, and adventurous arrays of Cuban heels.

It’s no question that Donatella caters for the libertine who desires to make an unabashed statement, and with salacious bursts of brilliant red and a myriad of jovial kinks, such as the infamous codpieces and extraordinary chaps, set to a pulsating rhythmic beat, topped of perfectly by Sylvester’s Do You Wanna Funk, Versace continues to prove its worth.

Watch the show here.

By Liam Feltham

Photos courtesy of Kerrie-Anne Pritchard