Last night Versace and H&M pulled out all the stops--and we mean all of them--to put on a runway show and party to celebrate their collaboration, which hits stores on November 19. Pier 57 was transformed into "Versace Hall" complete with a mirror-walled cocktail lounge (made to resemble Versace's show space in Milan) and a wood paneled runway in a pattern that seemed to mimic Versace's Greek fret motif (and also ensured everyone got a front row seat).
Everyone except Anna Wintour was there (and maybe she was and we just didn't see her?): performers Prince and Nicki Minaj (wearing an enormous green wig and sequined Versace for H&M) sat to watch the show; celebs, all dressed in h-to-t Versace for H&M, included Blake Lively, Uma Thurman, Jessica Alba, Chace Crawford, Chloe Moretz, Jennifer Hudson and Alan Cumming; there were designers aplenty from Joseph Altuzarra to Alexander Wang to Christopher Kane; in keeping with the collection's '90s theme, '90s supermodels Linda Evangelista and Helena Christensen were there; and there were too many stylists and editors and socialites to count.
"It looks good," Minaj told us about the collection as she walked the red carpet. "All the stuff they brought to my room today I was like, 'I'm keeping that!' Minaj confessed that she fell in her platform Versaces during the filming for her Superbass video but she said, "I'm not taking them off, fashion is pain, and I'm keeping them on, and Superbass went on to be such a big song, so maybe Versace's good luck."
I had the chance to go backstage before the show and watch the models get into hair and makeup, stuff their faces (really they were all chowing down at the buffet), and frolic around in their bathrobes before the show. The models--an A-list casting led by Versace blonds Natasha Poly, Abbey Lee and Daphne Groeneveld--had long straight hair extensions held back by black pleather 'do rags and dramatic dark smokey eyes. It was very rock n' roll--very Axl Rose--as Refinery 29's Piera Gelardi observed.
A rock n' roll look to suit a loud, vibrant, and undeniably bad ass rock n' roll collection. The show opened with dark studded leather and fur looks--pleated skirts with a Greek fret along the hem shimmered under studded leather trenches and bombers--before giving way to to those revived iconic Gianni Versace prints on skin tight jeans and bombers, fringed minis and some floor length finale dresses that won't be included in the Versace for H&M collection sold in stores.
The runway show ended after Donatella took her finale walk to much applause, and as she took her exit, a wall lifted to reveal the sparkling concert venue. Nicki Minaj played an energetic and awesomely dirty set, pausing between songs to say how proud she was of Donatella. And as if Nicki MInaj wasn't rockstar enough, she was followed by mother fucking Prince, who commanded the room in a red suit, his back up singers chanting "Versace" in the chorus of the opening number. Prince closed his set, epically, with "Purple Rain." "The Purple Rain encore was the very definition of 'major'" Meenal Mistry Tweeted. Indeed.
By then it was 12:13 a.m. (we got there at 7:30 p.m.), the pop-up shop opened and I headed for bed. But I think I was the only one. "Shopping at Versace x H&M's pop up store was hysterical," Bryanboy Tweeted. "We all felt like crazy."
I can't imagine a fashion event that could top last night. Victoria's Secret? You're up next.
Click through for runway, red carpet, and party pix and video. Photos: Getty, me, and Twitter
Additional reporting by Jihan Forbes.