Legacy fashion houses rely pretty heavily on nostalgia these days — some might even say too heavily — but Versace has done a good job lately of referencing its past while incorporating some modern upgrades. That was especially true of its Fall 2019 collection, which showed in Milan on Friday around a giant sculpture of a safety pin — one of its signature design details from the '90s.
Rather than send replicas of the label's Spring 1994 safety pin dress down the runway, Donatalla Versace incorporated the motif, alongside other house signatures like gold coins, into a range of pieces like jackets, "ripped" sweaters, beanies and cocktail dresses alike. Bondage-y harnesses and belts were another a tough-looking focal point of the collection, while bows, lace and novelty tights sweetened things up. There were also special T-shirts featuring old photographs of Versace by Richard Avedon sprinkled throughout.
Versace continued the power-clashing she experimented with last season: Fuchsia and lime green were often paired together among other "ugly" colors, like a deep orange and dirty brown. With certain looks, the kooky layering (sweaters under slinky dresses under printed fur coats with neon, textured tights, for example) and color palette almost created a Prada-like effect. With others, it looked a bit tacky. It's a fine line, and the mostly-black looks towards the end of the show sported by runway stars like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Stella Maxwell, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Edie Campbell, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and closer Stephanie Seymour, felt like a nice, chic palate cleanser.
Overall, the collection felt very Versace, but had a more nuanced and streetwise approach to sexuality than the in-your-face vibes we often see from the house, and was chock full of statement-making details.
See the full Fall 2019 Versace collection in the gallery below.