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Anthony Vaccarello

Anthony Vaccarello and Donatella Versace made it official in January. After collaborating on the Spring ’15 capsule collection for Versus, Vaccarello got the creative director gig at the label full-time. Donatella was sitting in the front row at his own show tonight, and he stopped by for a hug and a kiss when he came out for his bow. Vaccarello arrived on the scene four years ago, a young Belgian with a vision much sharper and more developed than that of other newcomers his age. As he learns to split his time and talents between his eponymous collection and Versus, which is no easy feat, the challenge will be maintaining the brands’ separate yet complementary identities, which is an even harder one.

On the runway tonight, there were moments when they inched too closely together. As the show progressed, though, Vaccarello found his groove. He reported backstage that he’d been spending a lot of time in the U.S. over the last couple of months, and its symbols have seeped into his subconscious. The stars on the flag; the cowboy’s brown suede, fringe, and bolo tie; the bald eagle—all of them got the designer’s no-holds-barred treatment. In some states, the heavy-metal tube fringing that trimmed minidresses and skirts would qualify as a deadly weapon, but the stars, which could’ve been clichéd, were cleverly handled. Their sharp angles were wedged into the thigh-high asymmetric hemlines Vaccarello is known for, or picked out in heavy-duty studs, suede, and sheer insets along a sexy one-shoulder neckline. Have you ever seen a star-shaped grommet before? We haven’t, and come to think of it, their peekaboo possibilities will probably be illegal in certain states, too. All-American or not, party girls will love these clothes.

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