Versace S/S 16
Versace S/S 16

There are few times when a soundtrack threatens to overshadow the clothes on the runway, but this could possibly be one of those times. The DJ known simply as Violet produced a remix of the Underground Resistance’s  techno hit Transition, voiced completely by women. The result is a strong, fast-paced, and forceful soundtrack that is as every bit as empowering as Donatella’s clothes.

Now, over that, with countless spotlights and a cascading golden digital waterfall in the background, add a collection that starts out looking as though Ms. Versace has established her own glam army. The looks are totally militaristic for the first several pieces, all rigid and starched, buttoned up, with epaulets on the shoulders. Okay, so they’re super short, so not exactly military regulation, but you get the idea. The look was fierce and the soundtrack made it even more aggressive. Even the footwear, open-toed boots with block heels, meant business. These women came to take over.

The further we get into the collection, the looks gradually soften just a bit. We go from strict military greens and browns to mixed camouflage with some creative netting thrown in. Had they added camo facepaint for those looks it would have taken them right over the top, but they kept more 90s glam style instead.

Looks then move to animal prints, a mashup of  stripes and spots on asymmetric panels. Here, Donatella begins pulling out the sequins and she doesn’t hold back. The Versace woman isn’t just looking for a party, she brings it with here. Just point a light at her and it’s instant disco. The colors are primarily green and purple, but watch out, those sudden flashes of orange can catch one by surprise.

Silhouettes are classic Versace, even with a couple of pieces bringing back the Versace slash cutout. There are a few frayed hems and a lot of cocooned sleeves. Bandeau tops gave an added pop of color beneath some of the military-styled jackets, and there was just enough sheer pieces to keep things interesting. Oh, and did I mention that the skirts and dresses were short? Be quite mindful of that when taking a seat while wearing one of these pieces.

There aren’t a lot of gowns in this collection, they just wouldn’t have fit. This collection works hard to make a statement and fluffy, frilly gowns would have softened that too much. What we get instead, though, is likely to be much more important, long term, and memorable. This collection takes a more serious tone than we’ve seen from Donatella in a long time. Perhaps the fashion world would do well to sit up and take notice.

And as for that soundtrack, you can find it here and let it empower you, no matter what you’re wearing.

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