Versace: Mines its DNA even as Donatella skips out of show

The house Versace mined its own extensive DNA in a rocking show inside its historic palazzo in central Milan on Saturday evening. Though the decision of Donatella to again exit the event without talking to media backstage will only serve to fuel speculation about the brand’s future.
 
Défilé Versace - Versace

Donatella took her bow dressed in a sleeveless patchwork Byzantine silk dress, as she walked around a glass catwalk inside her palazzo’s courtyard. But then took the hand of her long-serving bodyguard Gabrielle and slipped out a side door.
 
The Big Idea on the catwalk was Ancient Rome – bold dramatic black and white prints that incorporated Roman friezes; classical curlicues, Medusa heads, medallions and sea gods’ heads. In effect, these were updated versions of classic Versace prints: the Balletto, Cornice and the Angelo.  
 
Seen on billowing silk skirts, placed in denim jacks and used in summer tuxedos for the guys: or employed in crisp cocktails and shirt-dresses for the gals. Almost one third of the passages were women, climaxing with Russian supermodel Natasha Poly, practically poured into a black cocktail dress embroidered with crystal crowns.
 
A series of blood black and white check leather looks recalled the glory days of the late Gianni Versace back in the 90s when the house exploded into the fashion firmament. It was a welcome return to the house’s roots after several seasons of high-tech active sportswear. No wonder the show invitation read, Meet at my place.
 
Nonetheless, despite warm applause, for the third consecutive show Donatella was nowhere to be found in her via Gesso headquarters post-show. Which will only fuel further speculation about the brand’s future. This spring, half the pundits in fashion were predicting the imminent arrival of Riccardo Tisci. Now, rumor has it in Milan, that talks between the house and that designer have cooled.
 

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