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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Versace’s Strong Women

Bold clean lines and a chilled colour palette for women in control

29 Февраля 2016

Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

“Sporty!” I said to Donatella Versace backstage, after seeing her models walk briskly around a circular arena under rings of lights.

“They’re strong women — women must be strong!” replied Donatella, as though my description of the figures walking purposefully in their skinny, zippered suits with leather inserts or stretch trousers and slim skirts should have been more meaningful than mere sportswear. 

Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Perhaps I was referencing the fact that we were in a vast arena at the top of a modernist building in Milan; or maybe I was reminded of the Versace Atelier couture show, where sport was on the agenda but strode into sexuality. Women in control seemed to be the image that these forward-marching figures wanted to project, wearing icy blue shades that sometimes — as in a fluffy fur jacket where the blue faded into white — had an intergalactic feel. Was it a journey into space? But Donatella had a more down-to-earth proposition: dressing women in sporty de luxe outfits in which they could take on the modern world.

Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

There were some silky slips of dresses, and one had a wardrobe malfunction, revealing a breast as the model did the rounds of the runway. That unexpected flash of flesh was different from the way a shoulder was deliberately bared open. Mostly, the clothes were for the day.

Only a few long dresses even hinted at this weekend’s Academy Awards, where Versace is always a strong contender to dress famous figures on the red carpet. I am not suggesting that Donatella has dumped dressing up.

Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

She has Atelier for that, and some of the ready-to-wear outfits had arty effects of whirls and zig-zags that would not go unnoticed on a sidewalk and could shine at night.

So there was a fresh dynamism about this collection. Yet it was still, as Christopher Kane, British designer and former member of team Versace put it: “Very Donatella.”

Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Versace, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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