Versace S/S 2016

Let the silk scarves soar

Sand on the runway, massive circus poles and hundreds of sunny colored scarves sewn together like a Big Top, all made for a circus atmosphere at Versace’s runway show Saturday night in Milan.

Ivan, an Argentine model god from the 90's is back at Vesace
Ivan, an Argentine model god from the 90’s is back at Vesace

The house recently reacquired its scarf license and designer Donatella Versace celebrated the buy-back with a dreamily colorful collection, featuring hundreds of scarves billowing around the catwalk in a fashion pageant worthy of the Palio di Sienna.

Scott Barnhill, another male supermodel showing off tailoring and layering Versace
Scott Barnhill, another male supermodel showing off tailoring and layering

Think a rock and roll pirate rolls into Tuscany for a funky high society wedding and makes off with the prettiest bridesmaid. Plus, this season the maison Medusa introduced a new item. Once there was the skort – or a skirt meets kilt. Chez Versace, they introduced the skirt meets scarf, or skarf. Used in an opening series of Rajasthan silk print suits, and wrapped around midriffs; where dandies with headbands strutted across the sandy terrain inside the house’s historic headquarters on via Gesu.

Donatella never looked better Versace
Donatella never looked better

Amidst the kaleidoscope of prints, done in swathes of silk as large as an America’s Cup yacht sail, Donatella’s cast glided by in knit leggings, nylon flight jackets and great bomber jackets – some made in a ceramic tile print. From their arms swung weekend bags, suggesting haute gamme surfers off on a road trip.

“It’s essential to take a few risks. Playing safe is such a bore!” thrilled Donatella Versace, dazzling in an abstract Power Pop top and flared pants.

Scarves grace the suit Versace
Scarves grace the suit

What we liked best at Versace, and indeed Milan, was the sense of rebirth that coursed through the opening day of the menswear season. A city, spruced up for the global influx for Expo 2015. Squares bedecked with well-watered plants, new terrace cafes, high-tech buildings. A happy sense of renaissance, of Italy emerging, finally, from its long recession. And one of its leaders is without question Versace; a house which has weathered tragedy, melodrama and personal loss to emerge as a coherent global brand – giving the world its own unique take of gutsy glamour and Italian rock’n roll excitement.