Haute Couture: Atelier Versace a/w 2012-13

I’m back from a minor break this spring due to various technical difficulties and a little exam distraction BUT all is right with the world as i’ve decided to pick Couture Week to start it all off again… and with Donatella’s collection for Atelier Versace, what a start it has been!

With a celebrity packed front row at the Ritz Paris – home to Gianni Versace’s couture shows for 8 years – the traditional sentiments within the pieces were unsurprising and full of class, including pastel chain mail, hip-high slits (i’m assuming these will be Angelina and Anya’s favourites for showing off those mile long legs!), and scarf prints on sculpted body-con micro minis – signature Versace sexiness!

Lindsey Wixson opened the show in an A-line trench constructed from thin strips of ivory patent, woven through rose gold buckles, her waist cinched with a belt that took everyone straight back to the recent men’s collection. As the show continued, the game of peek-a-boo became bolder with slashes of skin on beaded evening dresses joined together with tiny strands of crystals or silk chiffon – daring yet not quite overstepping onto the road to tacky.

Tiny circles and hexagons were hand cut out of leather (as seen on the baby yellow trench, one of my favourites) showcasing the exquisite detail seen throughout the pieces. The woman represented was a “sexy, strong warrior” according to Jessica Alba, and Christopher Kane even suggested that Donatella herself should have modelled – which she could have with those minuscule waists much like her own!

Being her second couture catwalk since 2004, Donatella described the process of coming back as “very emotional” after having previously stopped showing Versace’s couture collections on the catwalk seven years ago. I was a little unimpressed with the initial collection, it didn’t really rub me the right way, so my expectations were wary whilst awaiting the second…

This season’s collection however was softer, more feminine and less “in-your-face” than the last one… Compared to the bright neons and acidic colours, combined with the architectural structure of last season’s pieces, Sunday’s show was much softer by sticking to a simple, clean colour palette of sorbet shades & jewel tones (which masterfully matched the rings worn on the index fingers of the models, made from yellow diamonds, emeralds and topazes – ah yes, the eye for detail…) and was a lot easier to take in. Sure, it may not have emanated the “strong, powerful woman” in such an obvious way, but the effect was still there within its own subtlety (possibly even in fuller force).

“Ultra sexy and feminine” & “signature Donatella but really updated” – the words of British Vogue’s fashion director, Lucinda Chambers – effectively sums it up and the verdict is in… a strong and beautiful start to the week. I mean really – what’s not to like?!

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