With Gaga and the whole of East London’s current obsession being Versace’s maximalist archive, we’ve found out that the head of the brand, lovely Donatella Versace, is also keen to re-visit some of the features of the Italian fashion giant that made them great. Firstly, they have started holding shows in the Via Gesù venue beloved by her late brother, Gianni, who founded the label, and where he held many of their most iconic shows.
She’s also veered dramatically away from the blonde aesthetic of recent Versace campaigns to a darker, considerably more edgy feel for the latest visuals for A/W. Shot by uber-snappers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, rather than using an of-the-moment celebrity or platinum blonde synonymous with the house, (for example, January Jones, on-going muse of the designer), Versace worked with brunette model (and everyone’s current fav face) Saskia de Brauw against an apocalyptic background.
Donatella explained her rational to WWD by saying; ‘For me, it is expected to have the blonde girl, the sexy girl, and this is what Versace meant recently, but I thought about how in the past, when Gianni used girls like Kristen McMenamy and Stella Tennant, everyone was always saying, “Wow, this is not a Versace girl, she is not blonde.” Sometimes you need to renew yourself to work better and to make a little bit of a push.’
We couldn’t agree more. All brands need to evolve their look, and besides, what with the flourishing trade in Versace pieces from years gone by keeping the traditional view of the brand alive, they seem to be getting the best of both worlds. Donatella herself is more than happy; ‘It’s a glamorous woman and it’s a little pop, which I love,’ Versace said of the resulting images. ‘Mert and Marcus are very talented and full of ideas.’ And the great clothes don’t hurt either!