As the picture above shows, when Raf Simons came out to take his bow at the Dior couture show it was a far cry from his final bow at Jil Sander. This time the tears were replaced with a beaming smile and he has every reason to.
Talking to Style.com after the show, he explained that he's tried to change the way people look at couture so that the pieces have longevity rather than being limited to the being seen through the lens of one red carpet moment:
[I am trying] to change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. The way I’ve been looking at it so far is as a still image, something you look at for that moment. I think lots of people see it as a still, an image from the red carpet. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy. A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft.
His approach has paid off. Everyone from Cathy Horyn to Alber Elbaz have produced complimentary reviews of his debut and if the praise for couture is anything to go by, we have a lot to expect for his debut ready-to-wear collection in October.
Feminism is dead in the world. It comes from another time. I’m a feminist. I want to fight, but I don’t see many people with this desire to fight for something. Women don’t help each other, especially in fashion. I know Miuccia… but that’s it. Nobody else.
Donatella Versace's menswear collection took us on a trip to Ancient Greece and Rome for S/S13. Models were sent down the runway often wearing nothing more than a tight pair of speedo-style pants, gladiator sandals and their best spray tans teamed with lashes and lashes of gold.
While it wouldn't be too critical to say that the belts the appeared throughout were more wrestler than Greek God, as always Donatella delivered a party something fun that continues to be a refreshing breather from the more considered economy-conscious collections that we continue to see.
Long tops came in sheer white styles, bomber jackets were out-there in metallic gold and suits were unmissable in shiny fabrics while raincoats came in floral prints. For the all the vulgarity, though, there were some strong tailoring especially on the double breasted sleeveless jackets and matching shorts. The only disappointing thing was that these pieces were few and far between and were drowned out by the metallics and prints.
[A]t some event, somewhere…I made a joke and she started to laugh and she said let’s go and get some paninis because we’re starving…and off we went. We just talk, talk, talk. She’s so inspiring. We make fun of each other and teach each other. She says, ‘I could never make sexy clothes, but I love them.’ And I say, ‘Well, I love what you do’.
Until January, Versace had an eight year hiatus from showcasing their couture collections in a runway format. The last show took place on the stairs of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and didn't go down particularly well so yesterday Donatella Versace confirmed that the venue will now change.
On July 1 the brand will play host to two runway shows at the Ritz ahead of it's lengthy closure for renovations. 'It is with tremendous emotion that I return to the Ritz where I shared so many special moments with my brother,' she said in a statement. 'The closing of the Ritz Paris for two years represents the end of an era but also the beginning of a new one, so to be able to show Atelier Versace there one last time will be a memorable milestone.'
Gucci isn't the only brand in Milan taking a walk on the dark side. For fall Donatella Versace continued the Gothic aesthetic that brother Gianni Versace had begun to explore before his tragic murder in 1997. Crucifixes came on everything from black velvet coats to oversized clutch bags and just in case the reference wasn't strong enough, all of the models' hair came with what Guido Palau called the 'fugly fringe'.
Alongside the gothic theme was a feeling of strength and the clothes serving as an armour. This was particularly true on a studded leather corsetted strapless dress and coat in a similar style, as well as a killer biker jacket which wouldn't have looked out of place on Rooney Mara in 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Even the orange and yellow pieces that came towards the end of the collection had a similar strength.
Since the recession hit, a playful creativity seemed to be drained from the industry. The days of excess and look-at-me pieces were replaced with caution and the since-rejected penchant for all things minimalist. It is this background that made the Versace menswear show so special this week.
Like Donatella Versace herself, the pieces were fearless and reminded you about the bold frivolity that is so special about Italian brands. The Versace man was a peacock this season proving that it's not only girls that want to have fun with their clothes. Named 'Tough Glamour', models wore either strong military pieces and tailored pinstriped suits that would appeal to the less daring men out there, or pieces that were all about the bling. Jackets and trousers came covered in gold chains and studs, suits were offered in light blue brocade, collars of denim jackets and puffas came in either bright yellow fur or blue and a spray one onesie came covered in bright florals.
While the out-there pieces felt like the perfect nod to the Versace of old, initially I struggled to understand how that would relate into sales. The need for a breath of fresh air aside, we're not quite out of the deep waters of the recession just yet and the majority of the looks will undoubtedly be a hard sale for most men. The success of the brand's menswear line for H&M appears to prove that people still want those over-the-top Versace pieces. The studded mens jacket has been popping up everywhere but whether the success of these pieces are because of a resurgence in their demand or simply because they were available at affordable price points is unclear.
Last week all eyes were on Anais Gallagher after mum, Meg Matthews, released an image of her shot by Mario Testino on Twitter but it looks like she might have competition from another celebrity daughter. Say hello to 10 year-old Kaia Gerber, the daughter of former-Versace model Cindy Crawford, and the face of Young Versace's Mert & Marcus-shot campaign.
“Like her mother, Kaia has a very special gift. The camera really, really loves her,” Donatella Versace said in a release. “Having Cindy on-set for the shoot took me back to all the amazing Avedon shoots we worked on together. It was such a special treat watching Kaia walk in her mother's footsteps!” Naturally, Crawford is happy to see her daughter follow in her footsteps. “I’m so thrilled that Kaia was chosen to be part of the first Young Versace Campaign,”she said. “I have so many fond memories of the times I spent with Gianni and Donatella. There is something so very special about the House of Versace. Being on-set with my daughter watching her in front of the camera was a fantastic experience. I am so proud of her.”
Young Versace is available at the Versace Young boutique in Milan and worldwide in select multi-brand stores specializing in childrenswear.
In promoting her collection for H&M Donatella Versace has stressed that it's the decision to partner with the retailer was all about making the brand accessible to a younger customer. “I wanted to give it to a whole new customer, especially the younger crowd, through H&M,” she said at a recent press conference. “I know that with the H&M collection I’m going to reach a much wider audience than usual...“When I’m going to see young people in the street wearing these iconic pieces it’s going to be fun.”
So with that said, you can imagine the controversy that ensued after it was revealed that the designer prevented 'real women' from wearing the collection in a recent shoot. According to the New York Daily News, they had selected a range of recent graduates in high profile jobs tipping them as 'New York's new power players' but when sending the models over to Versace for approval, one of the models was cut because she “doesn’t fit [Versace’s] branding.”
Is this simply a case of everyday branding concerns of does it does it border on contradictory. What do you think