The Versace show almost didn’t happen. What could be to blame? Maybe the weather, which has been surprisingly temperamental the past two months in Los Angeles. Originally scheduled for Friday, March 10, the AW23 Versace show was shifted at the last minute to take place this Thursday at 5 pm.
Versace guests and the press met at the Pacific Design Center, in West Hollywood. A huge, iconic L.A building, with an astonishing design by architects Cesar Pelli and Norma Merrick Sklarek for the studio Gruen Associates. Composed of three huge red, green and blue buildings, the space houses the showrooms and workshops of the some of the best design brands in the world.
From a huge car park, guests were directed to the 6th floor of one of the buildings, where they passed under a purple lit tunnel, before reaching a red corridor where the usual photocall was arranged. A giant corridor that extended over 30 meters, where fifty or so photographers and cameramen were waiting for the celebrity guests.
And quite the celebrity line up it was. From Dua Lipa to Natalie Portman, through Ariana Grande, Demi Moore, Nicole Richie, drag queen Gottmik and Paris Hilton with her entire family as well as Anne Hathaway sporting black glasses.
Miley Cyrus showed up in a long dress with chain details, Versace, of course, her train carried by her loyal assistant. Not far, singer Cher and Sir Elton John made their way to the show in a golf cart.
Everyone arrived at a huge space with gold walls and a powder pink carpet, specially designed for the show. The space opened onto an arena surrounded with stairs, worthy of those of the Cannes Film Festival. At the top an amazing panoramic view of the city.
With an hour delay, the Versace runway show could finally begin. Gigi Hadid opened in an all in black power suit, with large shoulder pads and black gloves. In the background, an opera song written by Perquell, punctuated with quick techno sounds.
All the looks featured gloves, in black or color, matched with high boots; ultra short dresses; suits with double-breasted jackets; shorts; quilted capes; crocodile leather, fur or puffy coats; or they were paired with a subtle, easy oversized shirt and denim pants outfit.
The models walked to music by Vladimir Cosma, quickly followed by a few Prince songs, “one of my very close friends at the time, for whom I felt a great deal of love and friendship,” recalled Donatella Versace before the show. While color appeared in a candy pink skirt suit with slightly puffy sleeves or in short, coral dresses with a retro sixties feel and a cone bust.
Chic, rock silhouettes mixing denim shirts with leather skirts took over the runway. Other silhouettes evoked a Roman toga. European autumn colors punctuated the collection with various shades of brown, like camel or caramel. A highlight was the dead leaf print in various colors seen on some short silk dresses.
The menswear looks all featured leather. Sexy black leather vest and pants, while other looks featured sequined jackets, accessorized with a pleated skirt reminiscent of Jean Paul Gaultier, and found in a series of camouflage effects or crocodile prints.
The last part of the show was dedicated to beautiful embroidered cocktail dresses. Gigi Hadid took to the runway for a second time, wearing an i-conic bustier evening dress with a disco style necklace, followed by Naomi Campbell in a beautiful long black dress, then Kendall Jenner closing the AW23 Versace show.
Donatella Versace came out to greet guests in a short dress and black boots. Let’s go crazy by Prince played and guests started dancing, delighted to be able to warm up as the temperature dropped to 48 F°.
The next show to come in Los Angeles, will be Chanel on May 9.
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