There was a Donatella-shaped hole on the Milan Fashion Week schedule this season. The hyper-blonde fashion designer and pop cultural juggernaut chose instead to stage her AW23 collection in Los Angeles. Bad weather warnings, resulting in the show being brought forward a day, failed to dampen its shine, held on the roof of the Pacific Design Center, with the likes of Cher, Elton John and Dua Lipa in attendance.
A trip to Tinseltown makes total sense for Versace. Donatella is a maestro when it comes to red carpet extravagance, having dressed countless Hollywood darlings in Atelier Versace finery. Stars hitting the Oscars this weekend are spoilt for choice when it comes to the collection’s most glamorous moments. Cloqué ballgowns, cut short at the front before jutting out into long trains, walked alongside slick LBDs and men’s tuxedos which came frosted with crystals (loyal Versace wearer, Lil Nas X, looked like he was mentally shopping from the front row). Some of the dresses were crafted using techniques usually reserved for Versace’s couture arm – now that’s star power!
Dressing beyond the red carpet, Donatella proposed neat tailoring with sharp shoulders and nipped-in waists – inspired by Gianni Versace’s collections from the mid-‘90s – as well as leather twinsets, car coats and slouched boyfriend jeans. The designer pulled back on Versace branding and restricted her colour palette, pointing the focus to the collection’s clean lines and sculpted silhouettes, which looked terrific backdropped by the City of Angels.
Photography courtesy of Versace.