On March 9th, just days before the Oscars, Donatella Versace presented her Versace women’s and men’s F/W 2023 collections in a runway show on the Pacific Design Center’s car park rooftop.
Miley Cyrus, Anne Hathaway, Pamela Anderson, Dua Lipa, and Lil Nas X were among the stars who turned out to celebrate Donatella Versace, as did her longtime friends, Sir Elton John and Cher, who sat front row with her record executive lover. As star-studded as the event was, one thing was certain, the sparkle and grandeur were also visible on the runway.
Six days later, people are still discussing the beautiful hour that transpired on top of the Los Angeles skyline—and it won’t wind down anytime soon.
The 90’s Versace
The amount of fashion houses with the same star power as Versace can be counted on one hand. Now, under the leadership of Donatella, the brand is an international emblem of everything that is glossy and luxurious, just as it was in the 1980s and 1990s under Gianni’s charge.
And Donatella is committed to bringing the brand to its key mid-’90s era. Richard Avedon’s 1995 portraits of Kristen McMenamy were easily the most obvious influence on the theme for the collection. “I wanted to go back to the cut and shape of the clothes, to concentrate on the perfect little black dress, the perfect black suit,” said Donatella.
Gigi Hadid opened the show in an ensemble that reflected the event’s immaculate dimensions. And she wasn’t the only supermodel in the house; Versace’s icon, Naomi Campbell, followed in an ankle-grazing black gown with an ornate bustier.
Kendall Jenner, who had been primarily missing from fashion week, appeared at the show to finish it in a teeny little LBD, sparkling short cloak, and vintage pink satin heels.
The significance of Los Angeles
Los Angeles may simply be another Hollywood hotspot for others, but Donatella sees it as a natural home for Versace since the people reflect the DNA of energy, power, creativity, and imagination. ”I love this city, I love the people, the laid back vibe, the atmosphere […] together at this show we share those values around the globe.”
Calls for the classic
Versace’s grunge-luxury vibes were masterfully controlled in this collection, evolving into an exquisite less-is-more luxury, yet important house codes remained. Sharpness, boldness and hand-feel are emphasised, with a number of exclusive Versace fabrics created in partnership with vintage sources.
Bouclé wool, and double silk duchesse in material juxtaposition. Coats and stoles made of faux fur. Leather cracklé. Semi-transparent silk devoré crocodile pattern. Barocco signature in jacquard wool and shirting poplin.
Band and belt features pay respect to House codes with historical ‘Nastro Gianni’ stitching and the Medusa ’95 hardware—a variation of the House Medusa logo first seen in Madonna’s 1995 Atelier Versace campaign.
An evening to remember
The VIPs definitely went above and beyond for the show. Aside from the apparent 90’s prime Versace motif, the event was packed with an avant-garde air when Hollywood’s biggest names gathered to honour the legendary Donatella Versace. Yet for fashion editors and dealers in the house, it was an unforgettable season finale of the Fashion Week.