Versace Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Milan
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Versace Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Milan

At the top of my page of notes for the Versace menswear show I had written the words “80s rapper meets 90s boys band” which still sounds about right.

Donatella Versace clearly was looking back to the days when power suits meant broad shoulders, big volume and large Prince of Wales check fabric. An era when stylish pants needed to have an elastic waistband then balloon out a bit and finally be fitted back to the ankle. A time when denim jackets looked particularly cool covered in colorful graffiti.

It was as if the Versace man’s sense of his own masculinity and strength grew in direct proportion with how voluminous or attention getting his outfit was.

Versace decided to show the collection in three vignettes (which somehow reinforced the boys bad notion). The first focused on lots of street attitude styles that consisted of oversized animal print outfits, shaggy fur coats and butch biker attire. Then came a series of lingerie-like undergarment pieces (perhaps pointing to how in touch the Versace man is with his feminine side) worn with a suit jacket as a modern take on a dressing robe. And finally a few more reserved suits thrown in with some “casual Friday” denim pieces, this time with tone on tone graffiti embellishments.

The collection looks as if it was trying to covey a playful interpretation of masculinity, in the same vein of Vivienne Westwood. But it was just a bit too heavy handed in its execution to make the leap.

- Jessica Michault