Change is in store for Versace, whose parent company Capri Holdings is in the process of being acquired by Tapestry, owner of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
“I’m very happy, and I think we are the true luxury house in the group,” Donatella Versace said when asked about it during a collection preview.
Change came to the Versace spring 2024 runway, too, where the brand’s sexy, sophisticated, body-con history faded to the background almost entirely in favor of a girlish whim of pastel checkerboard duchesse satin suits in mini lengths, rounded lady coats, flat ballerina shoes and hair bows.
“Tailoring is still a big part of the collection. We saw after the L.A. show, the success of the jacket, our Versace jacket, so we are going to keep doing it in different variations,” the designer said, referring to the fall 2023 show held in Los Angeles last March, where a padded hourglass silhouette was the star.
This season’s boxy shapes “were so your body can move inside,” and the checks and pale colors “look fresh and contemporary,” Versace said, adding that her muse is “a powerful woman with a touch of sweetness.”
The autumn 1995 Versace and spring 1995 Atelier Versace collections were on her mood board, including a photo of Claudia Schiffer modeling a blue-and-green checkerboard crop top and ball skirt. And apparently the checkerboard motif, which on the runway occasionally had a passing resemblance to Louis Vuitton’s Damier check, has been a house code since 1992 when it first appeared at Versace.
Nevertheless, the way it was used in the here-and-now didn’t feel particularly on-brand, even if it did fit into the season’s trend of chasing youth with short and shorter shorts and skirts.
Medusa-patterned silks crafted into boxer short and shirt sets for men and women were cute updates to the house’s South Beach uniform. Also familiar to Versace’s oeuvre were lace embroidered metal mesh slipdresses, including one in pale yellow worn by the season’s special runway guest, Schiffer herself.
Broad-shouldered, four-button “Prince jackets,” after ones made for the late pop singer’s 1991 tour, made a strong menswear statement in keeping with the fierceness one expects from the house. More of that, please.
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