Donatella Versace headlined Paris Couture Week with what was unquestionably one of her most technical and complex collections to date. The woman known for sex, curves and skin on display decided to show a different kind of heroine – one that is fearless, focused, and completely independent. “This collection is meant to inspire feminine strength to overcome obstacles”, she explained backstage.
There was a dominance of innovation and science in this ergonomic collection with asymmetrical geometric piecing, coiled Swarovski straps meant to hold gowns together, and interesting fusion of sequined and metal mesh. The collection was titled “Athletic Couture”, and the sporty glam element was an obvious theme.
It opened with a series of white trouser suits, comprising high-waisted stirrup trousers (which made honed legs look like they really did go on for miles and miles) teamed up with cropped jackets boasting neon strapping. Cowl-backed gowns, daringly short mini dresses in pops of zest and tuxedos were slashed apart provocatively and then seemingly held back together again with Swarovski crystal ropes tied in chunky knots; a motif that was apparent too on heeled sandals and earrings. Other sporty details included safety clasps, and hi-vis lacing woven into boxy black jackets, which at first glance looked like hiking rope.
“I was thinking about women at their most focused and most dynamic… women who push themselves to the limit,” said Donatella Versace. In fact, everything here was pushed to the limit – from the saturation of that intense orange, to the plunges, the cutouts (which were less peekaboo and more all-out exposed), the sheerness of the cobweb beading, and the thigh high slits.
The show climaxed with gowns and tuxedos that looked as if they had exploded, the remaining panels of fabric lashed together with those sparkling crystal robes. Female power, indeed.
“This collection is one of the most complex, sophisticated and technically accomplished we have ever created,” she said. “It has been hard work, but also an absolute pleasure to see the talents in the atelier push themselves to create the ultimate.”
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