Versace’s latest collection carries the theme of deconstructed tailoring, with designs embracing both 50s couture and modern style.
“Ballgowns, a la Versace.” That was how Donatella Versace, with a hint of a wink, described her Atelier Versace couture collection, shown recently in Paris.
It is an apt description of designs that play with the dream dresses of couture’s heritage, but add a hefty dose of Versace’s tough and sexy house code.
Couture shows – the highest echelon of fashion, with made-to-measure frocks, private clients and six-figure prices – always highlight the craft of fashion as well as the fantasy.
That was the case here. The gown that prompted Versace’s quip featured a bodice of embroidered tiny crystals, custom made by Swarovski and metres of creamy-brown duchesse satin backed with crinoline. Some might take issue with a split cut so high it revealed the model’s pants – but no one could argue with the workmanship.
Versace adds a sexuality not usually associated with this most proper of the Paris fashion weeks. The designer also seeks to challenge a world still using 1950s techniques, where a dress takes weeks to make and petite mains, or seamstresses, slave over sequins.
The collection, Versace said, was about “the tailoring from 1950s couture – but I’m not going to do 1950s couture”. Instead, she stuck to her house guns. As well as the duchesse satin, showing the influence of Charles James, there were rounded sleeves that nodded to the decade’s master, Cristobal Balenciaga. But being Versace, they were featured on a jacket with a gold buckle on the shoulder, worn only with stilettos. — Guardian News & Media