Donatella Versace Diversifies Her Aesthetic for Spring/Summer 2017

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With Versace flexing new muscle, she’s revealing a side of her aesthetic that is diverse, athletic, and surprisingly wearable.

With Serena Williams on the front row and models Irina Shayk, Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, and Jourdan Dunn on the catwalk, it was clear that alpha women rule at Versace for Spring/Summer 2017. Designer Donatella Versace has been leaning into a feminist message since 2013, and made it once again explicit this season with a collection that put body-conscious power suits next to taut athleisure on her catwalk. Essentially, she’s providing a wardrobe for a new generation of women who are willing to break the glass ceiling and look amazing while the shards rain down around them, as well as the kind of women who immediately throw an elbow into the face of would-be assaulters on the streets of Milan (à la Gigi).

Versace Spring/Summer 2017
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Versace achieved her aspirational, no-nonsense message by collaging together themes from previous collections: maximal prints, athleisure, streamlined suits, motocross separates, and other elements emerged on the catwalk in updated forms for Spring/Summer 2017. However, it was Versace’s ruched parachute-like dresses in technical fabrics finished with asymmetrical hemlines which were the neoteric newcomers, as well as billowing parkas in the same material. The looks were as multifaceted as the jewels that inspired the palette of her collection, and the aesthetic leapt swiftly back and forth between sporty jackets, drawstring dresses, skintight leggings, motocross separates decorated with signature checkerboard patterns, and clinging suits.

This isn’t to say her days of provocation are behind her, but it’s refreshing to see her move beyond slinky, flesh-baring dresses to include looks that are more technically and theoretically advanced.

The classic Versace vixen was not forgotten in this diverse parade of styles; she was represented by dresses that had strategically placed cut-outs and were slit up the thigh. On the dressier side of things, Versace also showed a sleeveless top and matching midi-length skirt, both comprised of strips of textured, multi-colored lace, as well as beautiful accordion pleated separates and frocks. Color-blocked and cut-out looks came out in the finale, this time fully embellished with crystal beading – a motif that landed beautifully in a voluminous parka and dress combination worn by Gigi at the close of the show. With Versace flexing new muscle, she’s revealing a side of her aesthetic that is diverse, athletic, and surprisingly wearable. This isn’t to say her days of provocation are behind her, but it’s refreshing to see her move beyond slinky, flesh-baring dresses to include looks that are more technically and theoretically advanced.

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