Versace A/W ’12 Menswear review

by Katie on February 2, 2012

The word “taste” has never really featured in the Versace lexicon. The Italian house virtually defined late-Eighties excess, only to have the red carpet pulled out from underneath them by the avant-garde and influential Antwerp Six, a team of Belgian designers whose dark and stark subversion of the conventional notions of beauty and aesthetics caused a sea-change in the fashion landscape.
The House of Versace, further damaged by Marc Jacobs’ grunge, the practically-puritanical-in-comparison Prada, and Tom Ford’s relentlessly successful collections at Gucci, was virtually dead before Andrew Cunanan shot Gianni Versace on the steps of his Miami palazzo in 1997.
So, after many years in the wilderness, Versace are back with a bang, fuelled by a duo of white-hot collaborations with H&M, plus a recent revival of the bold prints with which Versace made his name.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, maybe jeans embellished with studs and chains, resembling Billy Idol’s stage costumes? A denim jacket with fur collar-and-cuffs? A hallucinogenic floral take on camouflage? Iridescent Eighties power suits? Or maybe a dip-dyed cardigan with beaver collar?

There is a vague military theme to this collection, a subversion of the butch machismo of the army maybe? In amongst this melange of Technicolor Soldier, Gordon Gekko, and New Jersey Guido, there’s a safe selection of leathers, outerwear, and sober pinstripes, which will undoubtedly find their way from the selling rail to the shops. And some printed longjohns, which won’t.

This collection might seem fun but it’s also hilariously out-of-step with everything else shown during Milan menswear week, disregarding the visual assault of Moschino’s fluorescent tailoring. Fashion moves at a punishing pace, and Versace’s moment may well have passed once again.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.
Catwalk pics courtesy of www.style.com



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