Versace’s spring 2018 show marked the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s tragic death. Donatella, who took over the role of designer soon after her brother’s death, ensured the spring 18 show celebrated Gianni’s exuberant prints and bold designs.
Donatella delved deep into the Versace archives, revisiting prints from Gianni’s collections between 1991-1995, as a foundation for the collection.
The show began into total darkness with an emotional monologue, remembering Gianni Versace as a pop culture icon and fashion pioneer.
Each thematic group of models portrayed a full capsule collection, with the bright and iconic yellow leopard from the Animalier collection of 1992 opening the show. Featuring cinched in waists, high-waist trousers and square-shouldered jackets. Donatella reinterpreted previous silhouettes to ensure they remained modern and wearable.
Other revisited collections include Vogue (1991), My Friend Elton (1991), Wild Baroque (1992), Icons (1991), Warhol (1991), Native Americans (1992), Trésor de la Mer (1992), Butterflies (1992) and Metal Mesh (1994).
Donatella was keen to celebrate Gianni’s life, not his tragic death, with the showcase held at Milan’s Triennale museum, serving as a tribute to his innovation, inspiration and creativity.
This is the first time Donatella has drawn directly from Gianni’s archives since assuming the role of creative director, she fondly described him, “[Gianni] was all about joy, and so full of life, and the prints really express that spirit.”
In addition to his bold prints and bright palette, it could be said that one of Gianni Versace’s greatest legacies was the invention of the ‘supermodel’.
Versace is often credited for the creation of the supermodel; by selecting a few chosen models from the catwalks and then elevating them to a world of glamour and desirability. Whilst other models remained a mere prop in a runway show, the elite and ‘selected’ supermodels were seen as goddesses.
Versace’s anticipated finale saw a reunion of the ‘original’ supermodels, draped in shimmering gold dresses, reminiscent of Versace’s winter 1994 Metal Mesh collection, a fitting tribute to Gianni.
The show’s finale not only stunned with a nineties reunion, but also re-enacted one of Gianni’s most memorable moments from winter 1991-1992, when supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer and Helena Christensen, walked arm in arm down the runway to George Michael’s soundtrack Freedom.