Donatella didn’t do what I had expected her to do. That is to say, follow on the heels of her menswear collection last night, where the Versace man a la Gianni returned in full mesh, leather and Swarovski bedecked glory to vamp up (not to mention capitalize) on the recent sensation that has been Versace for H&M. Sure, the house’s 90′s DNA was heavily palpable in the armour story, ultra-sexy warrior goddesses strapped into minute metal trimmed corsets, cage dresses held together with silver metal stitching, chain mail detailing on broacde coats and jackets before a finale of eveningwear resplendent with the stuff in cocktail and column form. But rather than her late brother, it seemed to me there was another 90′s fashion icon Donatella was channeling last night: none other than Mr. Christian Lacroix. A sort of macabre baroque, Orthodox cruciforms beaded onto strict, severe textured corset and bustier leather dresses so tight you could tell the models strained to mask the heavy restriction of their movements, waists cinched with super-wide curving belts, and a palette of all black punched up with volumes of bright orange and yellow.
Nude lattice work dresses, both thigh and floor skimming, were a testament to the newly revived artisanal skills at the Atelier Versace, carefully encrusted with Swarovski crystals, complete with calf-high mesh booties to match. Thus it would seem, her archives now thoroughly and publicly plundered for the pleasure of the high street, that Donatella still has a trick or two left up her leather, studded and cross-bedecked sleeve.
Cage dresses gave autumn/winter dressing a serious edge
The Versace gal’s armory
Yellow punched up the sea of black
Fishnet boots vamped up the collection
A statement red clutch added colour to Versace AW12