There’s something tribal in the cult of Versace, which is reaching a fever pitch at the moment; those tendrils that are catnip for millennials and prints that show you’re part of Donatella’s gang.
Tribes were on the designer’s mind for herspring/summer 2019 men’s show in Milan, at the wisteria-strewn Versace Palazzo in Via Gesù, where male and female models all stormed her (lethal-looking, plexiglass) catwalk, bound together with a shared love of the brand’s highfalutin Versaceness.
“It’s about different kinds of men, the street style star, the high fashion man, the boardroom executive”, said Versace. “He is a man who doesn’t care about the rules, he is not ordinary. He is a man who is looked at, talked about”. You’d be hard pressed to miss him; those multi-coloured florals and neon suits don’t exactly scream ‘wallflower’.
The collection veered between streetwear and tailoring, splicing the two together alongside a potent dose of 90s festival goer, with trippy floral prints, cargo trousers and bucket hats.
A tabloid newsprint splashed headlines across shirts and sweaters, trousers came in slick black patent, and despite the strong-shouldered suits and shorts that showcased those strapping gym-honed thighs, this felt like a softer, more feminised version of Versace. Which again hits a nerve with those genderless millennials and their viral #versaceversaceversace campaigns.
The Versace man of the Nineties and early Noughties who favoured those strong structured, masculine suits might find little to wear here, but the fashion house today is speaking very deliberately to a new generation. And boy does it know how to do it loudly.