by Ella IDE
Agence France Presse
MILAN, Italy (AFP) — Italy’s fashion queen Donatella Versace sent a message to women everywhere Friday with a show that screamed defiance at attempts to turn back the clock on feminism.
Supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendell Jenner and Behati Prinsloo strutted on a runway with athletic autumn-winter 2017 looks that positively oozed glamor.
“This is a collection about the power of women, and women who know how to use their power. It is a call for unity, and the strength that comes from that positivity and hope,” Donatella said.
Earlier she had said the “world is a strange place at the moment.”
While the blond 61-year-old was clearly making a political statement, she may also have been sending a message for the brand’s future.
According to the fashion gossip mill, this show may have been her last.
Reports are Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, who left the French brand after 12 years this month, is about to take over from the Italian luxury sector’s most powerful lady.
The words splashed across hats, scarves and the back of shirts — “Unity, love, loyalty, power” — could be read either as a call for women to unite against foes, or a plea for fans to stay faithful.
Like Giorgio Armani’s Emporio show earlier Friday, contrast was key: Sporty compact knits were kept elegant with sheer tulle skirts or velvet, while large bomber jackets were worn with the tiniest of shorts.
One word to capture next season’s glamorous look? Seams, whether running down the sides and arms of fitted sheepskin jackets or as white piping on black dresses.
The colors began black but turned bold — canary yellow, Fanta orange, electric purple — and were matched with vibrant hair-dyed tresses.
Shoulders were rounded and large, another “don’t mess with me” sign along with one-shoulder confident cocktail dresses.
Shaved mink that had been laser-cut to look like a transparent fur coat was inset with fox to look like plaid, while elegant black dresses with diagonal hems were lifted with floral motifs on the chest.
Tulle was embroidered with crystal, and just because this collection shows less skin that previous Donatella creations doesn’t mean sparkles are out: there were three glittering evening gowns in gold, orange and black.
According to fashion guidebook Women’s Wear Daily, the Versace house is embarking on a significant expansion plan ahead of a possible Initial Public Offering in the next few years. And Donatella might want Tisci in her place as the brand steps forward.