DAVID TRULIK opening show / VERSACE SS20 Milan
These are more sober times – call it the Hadid age – at the House of Versace, and while there may be less simulated sex on the runway, the upside is that there are arguably more really good clothes. The centerpiece of tonight’s Via Gesu show was a blackened sportscar heaped with flowers made by ongoing Versace collaborator Andy Dixon – it was a little hearse meets roadside shrine, and unsettling. This was a nod to the sportscar prints, knits, and Lurex- and stud-defined shirting and pants that featured at the back end of the collection. Versace went so big on cars because, she said, “when a man becomes a man the first thing he wants is a car.” This also seemed a quiet aside to the memory of when her brother Gianni, then aged 19, convinced Donatella, then aged 11, to dye her hair blonde for the first time (which it has forever remained) before sneaking off to a Patty Pravo concert in a car stolen from their parents – which broke down and was lost forever en route. This potential for willfully wild acts amidst boys just stepping into their manhood was reflected in the oversized suiting and fringed biker jackets – sometimes worn over suiting – that featured at the start of the show. The volumized silhouette ran through to a series of lip-smackingly tart acid tone Versace print jackets and silk shorts towards the end of it. Another lavishly classical Versace touch was the amphora prints and Lurex knits. Printed vintage Versace fragrance ads on T-shirts and denim were yet another archival flourish. There was a fun, provocative sensuality in the slightly kicky jersey pants worn below tailoring which came in black or leopard print and floral versions in vertical rib-knit, and a carefully thought through – and Flint-inflected – riff on post-punk in workwear pieces that smashed check against denim. The complementary women’s looks – mostly legs-to-there Versace standard mind-melters – added extra turbo boost to this high energy Versace outing.