Donatella carries the torch

The void that Anthony Vaccarello left is one that could only be filled by the proprietor of Versace herself, the inimitable Donatella Versace. Her rare appearance during curtain call at the Versus show on Saturday night gave it that much more weight. The production value was top notch as Ambika P3, the concrete basement of the University of Westminster, morphed into London’s coolest club just for one night. Guests descended into the space one by one, ushered in by heavy bass and search lights that scanned the room relentlessly. It painted a foreboding aftermath, but equally a nod to the search for the brand’s next chapter. In the midst of the glitterati, Gigi Hadid was spotted lending support to younger sister Bella who opened the show. Also present was arm candy Zayn Malik. 

 

Versus Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London

 

As the future of Versus remains uncertain, the club setting help contextualise the brand’s positioning. Tough, deliciously stylish and powerful, the show presented Versus as the ultimate clubbing gear, one that would give you a fast track ticket into Berghain. Hemlines were short and seams ran tightly against the body. Leather on leather, denim on denim, it was a vision straight from Derek Ridgers’ rule book. There was definitely a lot of Donatella in this collection. Lily McMenamy, Adwoa Aboah, and Mica Arganaraz all carried the clothes like second skin, animating the pieces through the sheer cult of personality. 

 

Versus Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London

 

At a glance it seemed that not everyone would survive Versus’ exacting cuts. Despite this fact, the materiality is made for high endurance, sweat proof stuff, that’s meant to see you through a heady night out. The athleticism, military cuts, and the occasional stretch fabrics are perfect for those who fully intend to live fast die young. Donatella may have lost her wunderkind to Saint Laurent but she isn’t resting on her laurels. Is she covering Versus just in the interim or is she in it for the long haul – who knows? But her appearance is enough to keep our eyes peeled. If the models’ powerful strides were anything to go by, Donatella is moving forward regardless and one had better keep up to deserve any of her clothes.

 

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