Versace S/S 2017

A turn to gymnastic street chic at Versace

The Versace show debuted Bruce Weber’s latest film for the house, unspooled in a massive set inside Fiera Milano City. Entitled Chicago Is My Beat, the rapid-edit movie featured supermodels Gigi and Karlie prancing around with great young break-dancers in a cool homage to the Windy City. Backed up by a ramping soundtrack by Prince, culled from material he had privately prepared for Versace, the show had plenty of pep.

Versace_Men_SS17_01
Lightweight parkas at Versace SS 17

The clothes, however, were rather hit and miss. One had to love one divine silk paisley shirt jacket, which had a great rock star drinking claret mood; and to admire the impeccably cut featherweight nylon parkas, and some great medusa head carpet bags. However, the styling varied from the inept to the idiotic. Why show men in athletic river running Roman sandals with black socks, or yet another macho body builder with six-pack abs in cycle shorts, sneakers and semi-sheer duster? The net result, apparently meant as a homage to Versace’s DNA, ended looking like a cheap attempt to tap this great house’s codes.

The styling was questionable
The styling was questionable

However, this was still a great show – using a massive triangular to tremendous effect – as Prince’s music bumped and grinded. It all suggested a new energy at Versace, where the house’s new CEO Jonathan Akeroyd – who joined from Alexander McQueen – was very much in evidence backstage. With Blackstone currently owing 20% of the house, the investment fund – and the founding family – is clearly considering a public floatation. Versace have been talking about an IPO for over 25 years, but Akeroyd’s arrival suggests that this might be sooner than later.

Head to toe in purple: An homage to Prince
Head to toe in purple: An homage to Prince

Donatella – resplendent in a pant suit – took her bow amid a phalanx of models. The suits color? Purple, of course, in respect for her dear departed pal Prince.