Gianni Versace, as wonderful a designer as he was, would never have designed this spring/summer 2015 collection. That’s not a bad thing. Such is the difference that Donatella brings to the family business, though. She has added more bling, more sparkle, and more variety while keeping the feminity, focus on quality, and insistence upon luxury for which the label is known. As a result, the label’s never been more successful than it is now.
For this season, Donatella seems largely obsessed with a particular graphic element: an inversion of the squared wave common to Italian antiquity. Taking this piece out of history and quite literally turning it on its edge, Versace creates a whole new range of looks based on the simple geometry and the enduring strength of the design. We see it everywhere from trim at the waistline of the opening piece to enlarged, cut up, and separated on two piece ensembles. At the beginning of the collection, the graphic is fun, traditional in some ways, and at times almost cute. When she brings it back toward the end of the collection, however, it is serious, sparkling, and is the foundation element holding the final dress together.
Graphic design is strong all the way through this collection. When not working with the sharp edges of the squared wave (there’s an official name for the thing but it has departed from my brain and will likely stay gone until about an hour after this is published), Versace goes with circle designs that are abstracts from the company’s medusa logo. The circles get quite dramatic in laser cutouts and the prints grow extremely busy in the middle of the collection. Large gromets in some of the pieces are the ultimate use of the shape.
Of course, this is one of those collections where the accessories are just as important as the clothes themselves. Two particularly important matters in that regard. The Versace Palazzo bag has been given the laser cut treatment, again an abstract of the circle design. The cut outs are small enough one isn’t likely to loose anything too terribly important. After all, women who carry Versace bags don’t handle loose change, do they?
Shoes for this collection are sandals with about a four-inch high transparent heel made of Perspex with the Medusa head cast inside. The look is quite lovely even if it did present some wobbling issues on the slick runway surface. The Perspex is a hard, long lasting material that should help avoid broken and scratched heels that are often an issue.
So many looks in this huge collection are stunning that it will be no surprise should the company post another profitable year (in contrast to several that are having to tighten their belts). Versace for spring/summer is colorful, clean, strong, and exciting in ways that would make Gianni very proud.
Photo credit: Yanni Vlamos