Be­hind the seams

The Ital­ian-based fashion pow­er­house is liv­ing the year with a bang

AugustMan (Malaysia) - - Con­tents - WORDS BY CE­LESTE GOH PHO­TOS BY VER­SACE

What a year it has been for Donatella Ver­sace and her army of Ver­sace and Ver­sus Ver­sace models and global celebrities

DONATELLA VER­SACE AND her army of Ver­sace and Ver­sus Ver­sace models and celebrities have been liv­ing the em­pire state of mind through­out 2018 thus far. From the red car­pets of the pres­ti­gious Met Gala and other big block­buster movie pre­mieres, to the stages of sought af­ter mu­si­cians per­form­ing at award shows and mu­sic videos, to all-en­com­pass­ing col­lec­tions that have stolen the hearts of this gen­er­a­tion’s fash­ion­istas, with un­der­ly­ing themes that pro­mote the val­ues of strength, new­ness, courage and loy­alty.

This fash­ion sea­son, we take a look back at Ver­sace’s ac­com­plish­ments in 2018, and cel­e­brate the fearless rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what it means to be dar­ing ‒ a key value for Donatella and her vi­sion for the brand.

Crowning Queen

A le­gion, how­ever vast its num­ber and in strength, is no good with­out a fearless leader at the helm. Artis­tic direc­tor

Donatella Ver­sace se­cures her seat as queen to­wards the Ver­sace clans ever so firmly, when in June, she was hon­oured with the In­ter­na­tional Award by the Coun­cil of Fash­ion De­sign­ers of Amer­ica (CDFA) ‒ along­side il­lus­tri­ous hon­ourees of the year, such as Ralph Lauren (Mem­bers Salute Award), Ed­ward En­nin­ful (Me­dia Award) and Nar­ciso Ro­driguez (Ge­of­frey Beene Life­time Achieve­ment Award).

Donatella has been renowned for her reign in fash­ion, with a se­duc­tive mix of fear­less­ness, power, strength and glam­our. Through­out the 20 years she has ruled the em­pire along­side her late brother and founder Gianni Ver­sace ‒ and Au­drey Ver­sace, the Jack Rus­sell ter­rier of a Cre­ative Col­lab­o­ra­tor to Donatella, she has brought a unique voice to the house by chan­nelling riffs on punk, re­li­gion, sports, and the iconic Me­dusa and baroque, into the street and cou­ture col­lec­tions.

“What I love about Amer­ica’s fash­ion is that peo­ple here truly have no fear in ex­press­ing them­selves through their clothes,” com­ments The Roy­alty. “They re­ally see them as a way of ex­press­ing who they are or their be­liefs, and I am a strong ad­vo­cate of this at­ti­tude, and I am happy to see that, es­pe­cially the younger gen­er­a­tions, are fearless of em­brac­ing it.”

Heaven on Ea h

For ev­ery Queen and coun­try, there must be ven­er­a­ble cap­tains to help lead the army ‒ in Ver­sace’s case, help spread the brand’s mes­sage and hype to the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion via sought af­ter movie stars and mu­si­cians they look up to, by en­gag­ing with the right A-lis­ters at the right time.

Since late last year at the wake of the re­cent Star Wars film pre­miere, stars like John Boyega and Adam Driver were seen out and about in their smartest Ver­sace suits yet. The Golden Globes Awards this year was an im­por­tant one with the #TimesUp dress code, and Nick Jonas was sleek in his all-black suit with the “Time’s Up” state­ment pin upon his shiny lapel.

Also there to cel­e­brate their am­bas­sadors’ mo­men­tous mile­stones, Ver­sace was there for Jen­nifer Lopez from the red car­pet, to the on­stage per­for­mance, to the af­ter-party dur­ing the MTV Video Mu­sic Awards last month, when “Jenny from the Block” was hon­oured with the piv­otal MTV Michael Jack­son Video Van­guard Award. She was seen per­form­ing in a se­ries of cus­tom made Ate­lier Ver­sace out­fits, sur­rounded by her dancers, also all dressed in Ver­sace for the oc­ca­sion.

While also dis­tin­guish­ably spot­ted within the divine walls of the Lou­vre in the ‘Apesh*t’ video by Bey­once and Jay-Z (a.k.a The Carters), off their first al­bum Every­thing is Love to­gether, the epit­ome for the archangels of Ver­sace con­gre­gated dur­ing the em­blem­atic Vogue-or­gan­ised Met Gala in May, which saw Donatella Ver­sace as one of the Hon­orary Event

Day chairs, along­side Anna Win­tour, Amal Clooney and Ri­hanna.

Co­in­cid­ing with the Cos­tume In­sti­tute’s ex­hi­bi­tion this year, Heav­enly Bod­ies: Fash­ion and the Catholic Imag­i­na­tion, which is on dis­play at the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art (MET) from May 10 till Oc­to­ber 8, Hol­ly­wood celebrities stole the spot­light at the red car­pet, donned in Ver­sace’s im­mac­u­late hand­i­work: Black Pan­ther lead Chad­wick Bose­man in pas­toral white, as well as 2Chainz and The Mi­gos in Ver­sace’s colour­ful baroque-style suits, not to men­tion, Blake Lively in her sweep­ing ma­roon gown with golden em­broi­dery, and Katy Perry with ma­jes­tic an­gelic wings to match her Ate­lier Ver­sace do.

The Long Shot

Hav­ing al­ready gar­nered head­lines back in spring with the Ver­sace Trib­ute wom­enswear col­lec­tion, a trib­ute col­lec­tion to Donatella’s brother and founder Gianni Ver­sace on his 20th death an­niver­sary ‒ which fea­tured the OG su­per­mod­els from the 1990s Naomi Campbell, Clau­dia Schif­fer and Cindy Craw­ford in head scarves and wraps of the iconic baroque swirls, the Ver­sace fam­ily, con­sist­ing of at least 54 models fea­tured, got to­gether a few months back, and shot the long­est-ever ad­ver­tis­ing im­age for the Ver­sace Fall/Win­ter 2018 cam­paign. Shot by Stephen Meisel, the im­age ex­presses in­clu­siv­ity ‒ some­thing the world in gen­eral is striv­ing to­wards in more re­cent times ‒ a true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of clans that em­body every­thing Ver­sace stands for: di­ver­sity, in­no­va­tion, fear­less­ness and dar­ing.

“My team doesn’t just ex­tend to my work team. The Ver­sace Clans are made of all mem­bers of the Ver­sace fam­ily ‒ from cus­tomers to models, fans, pho­tog­ra­phers, stylists, friends, artists and all who be­lieve that stay­ing rel­e­vant means mov­ing for­ward and mak­ing your voice heard,” the artis­tic direc­tor pro­claims. “All who be­lieve that fash­ion is not a way to just say ‘look at me’ but rather ‘look at me, I have some­thing to say’.”

The long­est Ver­sace line up is made up of a mega mix of per­son­al­i­ties: Mal­ick Bo­dian, Finnlay Davis, David Tru­lik, Josh Up­shaw, Salomon Diaz, Dy­lan Fender, David Alexan­der Flinn, Rem­ing­ton Wil­liams, Matt Pitt, Paul Hame­line, Os­car Kin­de­lan... From su­per

models to young new tal­ent, in looks that are all about con­fi­dence, us­ing their bod­ies as a form of phys­i­cal self-ex­pres­sion jux­ta­posed against the clothes that ex­press their dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties.

Be­sides that, Ver­sace has also re­leased a com­ple­ment­ing video that ex­udes hu­mour, (and per­haps even in­for­ma­tion for some), in which the fea­tured models come to­gether with Donatella to show us the proper way to pro­nounce “Ver­sace” ‒ not “Ver-sa-chee”.

Where the Wild Things Are

For men who aren’t afraid to ex­plore his wildest side, the Ver­sace Fall/Win­ter 2018 menswear col­lec­tion rein­vents the rules, ig­nores bound­aries, and cel­e­brates the art of in­di­vid­u­al­ity, through plays of house codes rein­ter­preted for the younger eyes and dif­fer­ent sub­cul­tures, with an ironic yet com­fort­able Ver­sace twist.

With a look-at-me per­son­al­ity that’s taken to an­other level, the col­lec­tion an­swers the 5 W’s of fash­ion and styling: worn with what, on who, where to, when, and why not. Ex­pect the un­ex­pected, when the Amore e Psiche print with its an­cient Greek el­e­ments and vivid colour pal­ette, and the dra­matic Si­pario print can be found along­side tar­tan prints of dif­fer­ent colours upon suits and coats.

Whereas bas­ket­ball jersey are crafted from the finest silk, mas­cu­line tar­tan is com­ple­mented by flam­boy­ant prints, and silk cush­ion in­serts are placed on cot­ton sweat­shirts ‒ all har­monised with ac­ces­sories of lush in­te­rior el­e­ments: her­itage vel­vet prints on clutches, and travel bags that re­call vel­vet cur­tains and drapes.

Fi­nally, the new iconic Ver­sace sneak­ers bring up the rear with its un­miss­able chain­link sole that speaks ex­clu­sively to the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion. An orig­i­nal de­sign ele­ment that re­in­forces the link be­tween the tai­lored and the ca­sual, the Chain Re­ac­tion sneak­ers em­brace the Ver­sace DNA: the TPU lace cage gives lat­eral sta­bil­ity as its iconic Greca mo­tif guar­an­tees the un­mis­tak­able Ver­sace touch; the Greca mid­sole de­tail is fea­tured within the uber light out­sole with a hid­den Me­dusa un­der­neath; the “puff croc” neo­prene lin­ing and tongue create ex­treme com­fort and un­miss­able sporty at­ti­tude amidst Ver­sace aes­thet­ics; and the braille de­tails on the toe reads “love”, a lit­eral metaphor of the say­ing: love is blind. AM

“MY TEAM DOESN’T JUST EX­TEND TO MY WORK TEAM. THE VER­SACE CLANS ARE MADE OF ALL MEM­BERS OF THE VER­SACE FAM­ILY – FROM CUS­TOMERS TO MODELS, FANS, PHO­TOG­RA­PHERS, STYLISTS, FRIENDS, ARTISTS AND ALL WHO BE­LIEVE THAT STAY­ING REL­E­VANT MEANS MOV­ING FOR­WARD AND MAK­ING YOUR VOICE HEARD”

The long­est ever ad cam­paign by Ver­sace for Fall/Win­ter 2018

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