Donatella Versace knows how to put on a show – or rather, a movie. Last season at FW23, the House looked to the stars, citing “the energy, glamour and power of Hollywood,” as its main source of inspiration, and SS24 followed suit. Through Versace’s collection, we were transported to the vintage set of a 1960s movie, complete with candy-coloured collared suits and tunic-style mini dresses.
Draped, white curtains surrounded the show space that Versace’s audience entered this evening, where they found their seats spanning the width of a glossy, chequered floor. The atmosphere of the space was hushed, dim, and echoed with a low fanfare of gentle music; however, this was shortly cut and replaced with the sounds of conversation growing louder – and not from the crowd. As the show finally began, projections of black and white films were cast upon the curtains, and the lights came up to reveal an art deco-style doorway at the end of the space.
The first model entered the space in a white tunic-style mini dress with diamonds studding its neckline, evocative of the 1960s in both its silhouette and accessories, a pair of buckled, silver flats. This was followed by a camel-coloured, button-up jacket and shorts in a soft, silky material, which were paired with similar silver footwear and a textured, beige tote bag clutched in the model’s hand.
The spirit of the ‘60s continued to breathe life into the collection, seen in the form of cropped-hem jackets with rounded, vintage-style collars and ultra-short shorts that peeped just below them. An oxblood leather suit broke up the pastel hues of the first few looks, but without violating the aesthetic of the collection; in fact, the same colour in knee-high open toed boots was perfectly matched with the creamy white and beige shades that dominated the show.
Then, in true Mean Girls fashion (or I guess Grease, considering the era), three models in a triangular formation made their way down the runway in pastel blue, green, and pink chequered skirt-suits. But before the collection could become too overwhelmed by its influence from the ‘60s, a diamante double-denim set was shown, indicating our entry back into the 21st century.
Following this look, menswear took on a baggier, more utilitarian style, with pant legs widening and jackets developing more collars and a looser fit. Womenswear continued on with the 1960s inspiration; however, with a more modern touch. Diamond, crochet vests were paired with jeans, and boned, floral corsets were designed out of mesh. A trio of models each in a different pastel-hued silk shirts and skirts set appeared, decorated with the Verace La Greca print.
Finally, a silky, black dress which almost could’ve been in the style of a bumster (only it wasn’t quite low enough) was shown, before Claudia Schiffer in a pooling, silk green dress with sparkling diamond detailing closed the collection.
The reason we love Versace is for its playfulness and its nostalgia, and SS24 had plenty of both. Taking the silhouettes and colour palette of the 1960s and putting a modern twist on the aesthetic has culminated in a collection that’s nostalgiac without being dated, as much as it’s modern without being fleeting. Versace’s SS24 show was everything luxury fashion should be: grounded in the past whilst celebrating the new. Donatella VERSACE 💜.
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