Versus autumn/winter 2012
I would love to know whether Donatella Versace has ever actually visited Camden. The thought of her tottering about in sky-high stilettos and a skin-tight dress in the London neighbourhood, her bronzed skin and long blond mane a shining beacon of over-the-top glamour, would make for an excellent image. No matter, because what it made for instead was an excellent Versus collection this season, with the glam of Versace and grit of Camden (via Glasgow) merging effortlessly under the eye of Donatella and Christopher Kane.
By tapping into the dark and grimy side of Camden – home to punky club kids and a well-known market – last season’s sweet and sporty looks were abandoned for oxblood and black leather, lace-up seams, ladder-effects, medallion patterns and tie-dye prints in acid yellow, violent purple and inky blue.
Mini-skirts and dresses with either mid-calf or mid-thigh boots were the key garments, though a few jackets and pairs of slouchy jeans were thrown in, too. It was young, tough and girly, but with a sophisticated edge, courtesy of the more tailored pieces and use of fur and leather.
As a diffusion line, Versus is, of course, meant to be for a younger clientele, but one that revels in sexiness – a modern-day coquette. Hence, the dresses with the flouncy skirts and the lace-up leather leggings worked the best. On the other hand, the two sequinned dresses in the middle of the show seemed superfluous.
Regardless, it was a smart move on the part of Versace to bring in Kane. He has the intangible ‘cool’ quotient that many Italian labels lack, so also has the ability to shake things up in a rather conservative Milan fashion landscape. Or at least inspire other young designers in the city to look beyond traditional luxury.
Words Sabrina Shim