Over the past year, Donatella Versace has been gradually moving away from the clubby, glittery, overtly sexy aesthetic her Italian brand has long been known for, and towards something more modern and functional. Spring 2016 couture had athleisure elements; spring 2016 ready-to-wear was surprisingly utilitarian; fall 2016 had an undeniable athletic vibe; and for spring 2017, well, she's gone full sportswear.
Anoraks of all shapes and sizes, often paired with a tailored sweatpant or high-waisted legging (similar to those we saw at Max Mara, which also doubled down on activewear this season), were peppered throughout the collection. They were made of a super-lightweight nylon that Versace also used on dresses that looked at once sexy and billowy, with adjustable drawstring pulls. Many looks were paired with a Teva-like platform sandal.
Even the more traditional dresses and skirts, whether pleated or bearing a thigh-high slit, looked soft and easy to move in. Cocktail dresses, skirts, leather jackets and more pieces had rows of athletic-feeling snap closures throughout, like you'd find on tearaway sweatpants. T-shirts with the brand's name on them had a '80s/'90s feel — as did much of the collection — even though Versace's intent was to move the brand into a more modern direction.
"Sportswear is the future of fashion; to make it unique and luxurious is the challenge I took this season," said Versace in a statement. "This is a collection that is all about a woman's freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be."
Front row guest and star athlete Serena Williams perfectly reflected Versace's desire to celebrate powerful women, and I'm sure the designer had that in mind when she cast her spring 2017 show. It once again featured some of the most recognizable, powerful and distinctive faces in the industry, from the supes to the Angels to the bad girls — Naomi Campbell, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, Edie Campbell, Doutzen Kroes, Taylor Hill, Mariacarla Boscano, Lexi Boling, Anna Ewers... the list goes on.
Of course, we wouldn't expect anything less from Ms. Versace — a strong female force in Milan's largely male-dominated fashion industry.
Browse every single look from the runway in the gallery below.