This season Donatella Versace traded in the refined Palazzo Versace headquarters in the center of Milan for a cavernous hanger on the edge of the city as the backdrop for her latest collection. A move designed to reinforce the primal power of her Spring/Summer 2016 line up that went straight for the jugular with a toughened up take on fashion.
This was a collection about animal magnetism restrained by the rigor of impeccable tailoring. Versace went with a military foundation for her shapes, prints, and embellishments – kicking off with a feisty Raquel Zimmermann rocking an olive green officer’s jacket and little else (who wouldn’t want to fall into line behind that?).
From there, Versace incorporated the boilerplate enlisted man garb – camouflage, uniform jackets, and star studded lapels on shirts – but she sexed them up by crafting the garments in form fitting shapes and pairing them with platform heels and short shorts. She then offset these designs, which started the show, with a wild array of animal print pieces.
They pounced onto flowing prints, purred along the body in shimmering sequins on short dresses, and got a ragged and ruthless raw edge treatment on cocktail dresses. But what gave these spots and stripes their urban energy was Versace’s nervy use of a high octane color palette. She boldly mixed together orange and purple stripes, crafted spots out of kryptonite green, and even sometimes spliced them all together to create some hot hybrid animals of seduction.