On a purple fur covered catwalk framed by gold metal edging, designer Donatella Versace sent out her fall/winter 2014 collection in front of the critical eye of Jennifer Lopez. A woman who owes quite a lot to Versace and her gravity defying gowns.
And just like last season, when Lady Gaga was the designer’s guest of honor, Lopez was sitting front and center in one of the strongest looks from the collection. She wore a sleeveless floor length dress that morphed into a pant. A hybrid design sheathing only one of the singer’s perfectly toned limbs. Watching the star bounce in her seat to the show’s soundtrack that included her latest single “So Good” – the cover for which JLO sports one of Versace’s iconic harness strap dresses- it was hard to imagine that this collection was inspired by the constructed style of the 1950s.
Only rare glimpses of its structure and volume could be spotted in this sexy show. Say in the composition of the full rounded sleeves of a fitted day jacket or the voluminous ball gown skirts crafted to leave lots of space for legs to remain exposed. But most of the confine and release foundation on which this collection was based, such as the corsetry boning waistlines or the cutaway elements in the collection (an exposed shoulder, a hip bone laid bare, metal harness adornments strapped against flesh) felt very much in keeping with the codes of the house rather then an exploration of 1950s fashion.
What was interesting however was the designer’s play on asymmetry throughout the show. In particular, a “rolled t-shirt” effect on a crystal encrusted top that left one arm exposed. Also strong was the single shoulder jumpsuit formed from a blending of a sleeveless suit jacket as a bustier corset. However, the patented leather fringe embellished ensembles never really dovetailed with the overall clean lined collection.
If the designs of the 50s were where this show got its start, it seemed to have finished with some more modern influences. It has been reported that Anthony Vaccarello has paired up with Versace to create her next Versus collection. It is clear from this haute couture show that the two designers have been working very closely together. It’s a collaboration that is already starting to produce some strong results.