MFW: VERSACE F/W 2014

Versace has become a bit of a fashion cult, having achieved that status where would-be hip-hop artists record, uhm … (do they still call them songs?) recordings that attempt to create a rhythm by simply repeating the name over and over and over and over and … you get the idea. Versace is a status symbol like no other and it has attracted and embraced some pretty big names. Evidence of this comes in the fact that none other than Lady Gaga is the face and voice for the Versace spring/summer campaign.

The fierceness represented by Gaga is very present in this fall/winter collection as well. A strong military influence permeates the line, with brass buttons, heavy gold necklaces, extreme hand jewelry, and jeweled sashes decorating the 51 looks Donatella sends down the runway. Augmented by front-lace boots of varying length, and plenty of gold-colored accents, this collection is bound for instant stardom as soon as it hits stores this fall.

Does anything else I type actually matter at this point? Probably not. Those who are fans of Versace, and they number in the millions, would buy these clothes even if they were nothing more than a set of postage stamps licked together. Versace has reached a point where, for the time being, the label can do no wrong. I would have a hard time imagining what Donatella would have to do to completely alienate her audience. She has brought the label to a very enviable position.

Fortunately, this collection is considerably more than postage stamps. From diagonal hems to fringed epaulets and masculine tailored suits, this is a very strong and dynamic line of clothes. Even if no one had ever heard the name Versace, this would still be a label worth following and would sit strong on the buy lists.

Big sellers are going to be the diagonally hemmed dresses that started the show, military-styled double-breasted jackets with brass buttons across the front, some of the smaller jewelry pieces (such as the hand decorations), and those boots. Those are the pieces most likely to end up in store displays as well as most likely to be worn by both major and minor celebrities.

Not to be ignored, though, are the well-tailored suits. While short on sparkle, they are the understated stars of the collection, impeccably detailed and very well fitted for women. This isn’t like tossing on one of your boyfriend’s suit coats, or even your younger brother’s. These are very obviously designed with the female form in mind and play strongly to those strengths.

Of course, there are plenty of other glitzy and glamorous pieces, such as the red number Georgia May Jagger pranced down the catwalk, but those are significantly less practical for a mass audience and even if they do make it to store shelves in some pared down fashion the price point is going to be high enough to divert one’s attention elsewhere. Even Versace lovers have a credit limit.

Versace presents its own kind of fierceness with this collection and there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do or say at this point to keep the Versace train from steamrolling right on through the fashion industry. Might as well grab a jacket and enjoy the ride.

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