Creative director Donatella Versace opened the spring/summer '17 show of the Italian design house with a bold, multi-faceted collection for women on Friday during Milan Fashion Week.
The star studded catwalk featured Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid and Irina Shayk, and the sporty theme was the protagonist of the show with airy windbreaker jackets shown throughout the collection. They were matched with leggings, rucksacks and parachute-like dresses in high-tech fabrics, giving a sports flair to part of the collection, mostly in black, purple and green. Even the more traditional dresses and skirts, whether pleated or bearing a traditional Versace thigh-high slit, looked soft and easy to move in. “Sportswear is the future of fashion,” declared Versace before the show. Her solution was to take functional fabrics such as ultra-lightweight nylon and drape it into extravagant clouds or sexy combat pants and to sculpt technical jersey into form-contouring dresses.
Over the past year, Donatella has been gradually moving away from the clubby, glittery, and sexy style the Italian brand is known for, opting for something more modern and functional. And this show is the clearest proof. Cocktail dresses, skirts, leather jackets and more pieces had rows of athletic-feeling snap closures throughout. T-shirts with the brand's name on them had an '80s/'90s feel even though Versace's intent was to move the brand into a more modern direction. Many looks were paired with a Teva-like platform sandal. "This is a collection that is all about a woman's freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be." added Versace. Front row guest and star athlete Serena Williams perfectly reflected the designer’s desire to celebrate powerful women.
Edited by ELIZABETH KRAMSKY
Photos by VALI BARBULESCU, vogue.com and versace.com
Visual editor JALAL MOUGHRABY