Listen, some of you are probably over it but I’m STILL partially deaf from that Versace show. Bruh, no one was ready for the Amazonian contrapposto moment behind that curtain. I barely registered Naomi Campbell’s hand resting on Claudia Schiffer’s shoulder because my brain cells shut down tryna keep up with the swiftest wig-snatch in Milan.
Am I going to use this platform to fangirl over Naomi (arguably three-thirds of the Model Holy Trinity)? Probably! Here’s why: No one embodies the electrifying, Warholian glamour of power play like Muva herself. Her strategic use of beauty and clout interchangeably as social capital taught us that, actually, there is no ‘end’ in Legend. And thanks to her pioneering efforts, not giving a shit when someone calls you a bitch is now a clause in the Gay American Dream.
The three seconds she rested her palm on Claudia’s shoulder were utterly paralyzing. Sure, it was probably to steady her gait but mostly it was a quiet declaration that she was, in fact, going to walk first. Inevitably she cast herself as the leading lady trailed by her handmaiden, including the ex-first lady of goddamn France.
It was like a pantomime version of the Check-Your-Lipstick soliloquy she once offered Canadian darling Coco Rocha (video after the jump with the rest of the review). But I digress…
We all know Donatella Versace is phenomenally gifted at serving a sexy frock. This show was no different. It was an apt tribute to her brother Gianni who galvanized Italian excess as a legitimate aesthetic. The point was nostalgia. And these clothes didn’t just reference, they were literal clones of iconic looks from his oeuvre. It was effective.
Decadent, cinched, powerfully feminine, and the prints were fun as hell: a strategic reminder of the brand’s contribution to the fashion narrative. Plus, it was kind of familiar, like watching Jeanne Beker in a restored Fashion Television clip. I guess that’s fitting, since these days it’s easier to decipher references to hits than it is to sift warily through the avalanche of the mediocre new.
The memes are already giving me life. The one by Neyde Spears with Britney crouched dejectedly at the foot of the podium is a moment of pure internet genius:
Fashion’s obsession with nostalgia is a gilded, Medusa hand-mirror held to the face of a generation incapable of consuming beyond the abbreviations. So Versace the brand is abstracted to an hourglass figure dripping in gold lamé, and Supermodels hunger games-ing to open shows, and Donatella’s abuela baritone shrieking during her ice bucket challenge.
Was it groundbreaking? I’m sure that wasn’t the point. Also, who cares? Good fashion doesn’t always have to be. But the line between tacky gimmick and genius gimmick is literally Naomi Campbell. Who knew Gianni’s baroque opulence would be a simpler time?
— Review by Pettina Aguilera (@hailmaryfullfiguredgrace)