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Words like graphic, clean, and neat don’t always come to mind when thinking of the Versace aesthetic, nor does the oxymoron “controlled boldness.” Yet that’s the best way to describe the look of the Pre-Fall collection, presented today in the Milanese showroom. Moving away from her signature body-con silhouette, Donatella Versace embraced a masculine inspiration mixed with sporty references this season, injecting her new lineup with the typical Versace sense of luxe, but polishing the edges with a sleek, modern spirit. The results proved convincing. A restricted color palette of black, fire red, cobalt blue, and purple was the canvas for houndstooth-check patterns blown up to abstract proportions, or for block intarsia with a dash of a mod look. Patchwork was the thread that ran through the collection—different types of leather were embroidered, stitched, or “carved” into sweatshirts or the back of biker jackets; Mongolian lamb, mink, astrakhan, and suede were mashed up in a glamorous parka; and animal-printed jacquards were paired with bonded silk cady for dresses with full volumes, as well as swinging skirts—a bona fide first for Versace. Techno fabrics worked into lean shapes were another testament to the collection’s concise, new direction. To cap things off, the infamous safety pins that launched Elizabeth Hurley into the limelight were given a makeover, redesigned in golden metal or in glittering Swarovski crystals. Piecing together asymmetrical slashes on red-carpet-ready, drapey cocktail dresses, they were a reminder that, after all, Donatella is still a wild child at heart.

—Tiziana Cardini,

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