“I love change. I want to push Versace forward, and capture the spirit of individuality and creativity in the men that I love.” So said fashion’s matriarch Donatella Versace before the SS17 Versace men’s show. And she was true to her word. The show started with a film by Bruce Weber – the famed photographer who recently shot the house’s AW campaign some 20 years after their last project together. Weber claimed in a recent interview that they were like “Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton”. The second man whose spirit Donatella paid tribute to was her late friend Prince – if there was ever a man to embrace individuality and expression it was him. The result? One of her strongest men’s collections to date.
What they said: The gentlemen of Versace –men of the world, men of character and individual attitude.
Our verdict: There is just something about witnessing a Versace show. It’s grand, it’s glamorous, it’s fashion amplified. From the first long-legged model strut onto the catwalk to Donatella’s bow to close the show, it exudes sexiness in a way unlike any other. This is, and always has been, the magic of Versace. And it was there in abundance for the men’s SS17 outing.
This season as well as celebrating a few of the men that inspire her Donatella has looked for a sense of functionality in her collection. This was also explored in the AW campaign, with Weber shooting models and Chicago locals together to get a sense of how the everyday man wears his Versace. For spring that’s lightweight silk knits and silk shirts, easy tailoring with elasticated waists and cuffs and jersey jackets and loose summer trenches or laser cut leather bombers. In a fitting tribute to Prince there was even a series of purple raincoats. Underpinning the collection’s functional side was the new Versace Active collection of cycling shorts, leggings and lightweight trainers, topped off with Versace socks. Function, but still full on fashion of course.
Best moment: Aside from the fact that the attitude laden show felt like a glorious throwback to the supermodel era, the Prince medley featuring previously unreleased material that the singer had gifted Donatella made it a very special one. And to remember her close friend Donatella took her bow wearing a purple suit.
Who walked: Versace’s usual army of bronzed, muscled Adonis types, with the addition of a few girls including Stella Maxwell and Dilone.
Edited by Sarah Huntington