Baroque and roll Ver­sace pushes the bound­aries

The Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - Scar­lett Con­lon Mi­lan

Dar­ing is how Donatella Ver­sace de­scribes to­day’s man – or at least the man who wears Ver­sace. At the brand’s menswear show in Mi­lan, the de­signer showed a mash-up of tex­tures and pal­ettes to the sound­track of Su­per­model (You Bet­ter Work) by the drag queen RuPaul – high­light­ing that men have more free­dom than ever to ex­press them­selves through fash­ion.

“Ev­ery­thing has changed, and to­day’s so­ci­ety al­lows ev­ery­one a greater free­dom to ex­press them­selves with their clothes as well as with their ac­tions,” she told guests at the week­end. For au­tumn/win­ter 2019, Ver­sace’s man will be mix­ing things up in Prince of Wales tai­lor­ing teamed with trans­par­ent plas­tic trousers, baroque and bondage mo­tifs, and Beetle­juice stripes.

Ver­sace is right to mon­i­tor the zeit­geist. Not only is the menswear mar­ket boom­ing, but all eyes have been on the brand’s bot­tom line since its ac­qui­si­tion by Capri Hold­ings (for­merly the Michael Kors group) in De­cem­ber for £1.6bn.

Back in Italy at the first show since the deal, Ver­sace showed she un­der­stood the im­por­tance of evo­lu­tion on the cat­walk as much as in the board­room. “In the 90s there was such a spe­cific idea of a man, but since then, fash­ion has evolved dra­mat­i­cally and to­day one can­not de­fine men in just that way … What I wanted to show in this col­lec­tion are the dif­fer­ent facets of a man, who … has gained the courage he didn’t have be­fore.”

PHO­TO­GRAPH: PIXELFORMULA/REX/SHUT­TER­STOCK

Beetle­juice stripes and baroque mo­tifs fea­tured in Ver­sace’s first show since the brand was bought by Capri Hold­ings

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