After the resounding success of Versace’s transportive spring/summer 2021 show, set in a utopian under-the-sea settlement ruled by Medusa, Donatella Versace felt buoyed by fashion’s new digital frontier. “I have realised that this is the future, the new way of communicating collections,” she said in the collection notes for her autumn/winter 2021 presentation, which was no less fabulous than last season’s journey to Versacepolis. If anyone can nail a virtual fashion celebration, it’s Donatella and her rolodex of supermodel bombshells. She called upon Bella and Gigi Hadid (who came back from maternity leave with a bang), and Irina Shayk, Precious Lee and Mona Tougaard to give her new-look house Greca motifs and Medusa smileys a glamazon-over, during a rip-roaring showcase that had us yearning for club nights. Here, everything you need to know about Versace’s electric autumn/winter 2021 show.
Gigi is back from maternity leave
Gigi made the first exit on the runway: a maze of interlocking blocks in the shape of Versace’s iconic Greca motif. Bella and Versace poster girl Irina Shayk followed, as the video panned from runway moment to vignettes of Versace men and women adjusting each other’s looks as though they were in the bathroom of the most exclusive party in town. Donatella’s description of the show set? “Amaze”.
Donatella encouraged the models to “feel”
“Models are like actors, they bring the designs to life, just like when a performer portrays a character,” noted Donatella of the all-star cast she chose to embody the essence of Versace. “During the filming of this show I saw how important it is to give the models time to ‘feel’ the clothes they wear on the runway. Despite living in a digital era of immediacy, taking this time is crucial to form a genuine connection. This is what the present and future look like to me.” Translation: the show was packed with personality as always.
Logo mania was top of the agena
The graphic, geometric set was echoed in the clothes, as the Greca motif was splashed across coats, mini dresses, suits—you name it—in an opulent palette that was balanced with plenty of wearable black pieces, too. Counter-balancing this sharpness was the introduction of the graffiti Medusa smiley, which, the brand said, is “a symbol of celebration, freedom and dancefloor communities”.
Bags come personalised and peppy
At first glance, Versace’s ladylike bags are pure business chic, but look closer and the structured leather goods boast playful clip-on trinkets. Evening purses tinkling with chains come bold and colour-clashing, and totes feature mix-and-match straps and detachable pouches. During what is a universally challenging time for brands, this focus on the customisation of entry-point products will pay off. We might not have an occasion to wear those glittering colour-block minidresses, but we can certainly make room for a Versace trinket or two. Or, as Donatella notes, a “modular” approach to accessorising.
We all need a Versace headscarf
Black silk headscarves evoked an air of nostalgia, while looking resolutely modern when paired with platform heels boasting crystal-choked straps. These two key accessory takeaways symbolise Donatella’s Versace vision: forward-looking while never losing sight of her past or the iconography underlining the brand. The fact Shayk has been sporting her sleek foulard in the run-up to the show made it a much-hyped product before it had even stepped onto the runway. Another stroke of genius that also proved a Versace headscarf works on all occasions.
This article was originally published on British Vogue