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Versace's Baroque Power Pop

Godfrey Deeny
September 26th, 2009 @ 00:33 AM - Milan

It was power pop meets vintage Versace classicism in a frankly sexy and sassy Spring 2010 collection, unveiled on Friday evening, Sept. 25, in Milan, the hottest performance by this label in the past half-decade.

This was not a revolutionary collection but one that revisited the house’s codes without falling into too much retro nostalgia.

Donatella Versace called the collection “Alice in Wonderland in a Baroque world,” but it was more a new New Wave moment, where the most telling look was a series of leotards worn with see-through plastic minis. Think Blondie look, Bar Refaeli body.

It was power pop but with guts, like the chain mail mini cocktails with inlay effects that finished the show; steamy looks for steamy moments that recalled the roaring eighties when Gianni Versace set the frock and roll agenda in fashion.

The whole mood seemed half a generation younger than recent Versace runway shows, which concentrated on shoring up the house’s classical roots with mono color finales. This time the runway burst with bright pastels, vivid geometric prints, metal inserts and lots of studs and micro chains, all adding to the upbeat mood of this collection, worn with models whose hair flowed out behind them.

Minis were miniature, and tops sucked tight around the body in a highly color coordinated collection, where boot leggings, soft bags with threaded detailing and slick suits all came in the same shade. There were lots of green and yellow cocktail looks, several of which seemed reminiscent of German eau de cologne 4711 bottles.

Reflecting the times, where before many top-rank houses insisted on one model per look, now they send out the same model several times. At Versace, Donatella had the world’s leading catwalk model Natasha Poly appear in three different outfits – all of them spectacular. Top vote went to the ravishing string and pink mirrors mini cocktail dress, a steamy, head-turning image that best defined this sizzling collection.

In the front-row, Roger Federer sat close to wife Mirka, on either side of Anna Wintour. In the next block, the paparazzi stood for ages before going into an image feeding moment, as Janet Jackson appeared 45 minutes after the appointed hour. Yet in a collection where color shocked the eye, Jackson appeared head to toe in black.

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