Guest Blog | Atelier Versace Spring 2014 - Power Goddess

“I’m blond, I’m skinny … and I’m a little bit of a bitch”. The words that opened the Atelier Versace Show last Sunday could not have been more appropriate, considering the designer and inspiration behind the looks. Think Grace Jones at the height of her glory, draped in one of her iconic hoods. Think powerful yet not afraid to show her softer side woman, clad in a slinky black goddess dress, adorned with a generous train, a barely-there corseted underpinning and a cascading hood. Think pure and spectacular Versace, with its famous combination of body-hugging silhouettes combined with a sinuous draping. In the words of Donatella Versace: “Think Power Goddess”.

While there is a tendency for modern fashion to lean towards more laid-back shapes, Donatella managed to incorporate this inclination in such a way that it didn't disturb the label’s signature fierceness, a point of appreciation from its numerous followers, wandering either around Versace boutique on Avenue Montaigne in Paris or on 5th Avenue in NY. This was obvious from the first look, a soft black silk jersey skirt combined with an armory-like structured jacket; and of course the rhinestone-garlanded hood; a tribute not only to Grace Jones but also to the female warrior, a modern version of an Amazon-a Glamazon.

The entire collection had an “in-your-face” attitude to it; from the purple furs with glinting seams, to the black tattoo-embroideries on nude tulle and minuscule metallic chains that traced anatomic patterns. In addition to demonstrating her skill in terms of visual “pizzazz”, Versace also demonstrated her talent at working with different textures, with floor length skirts glistening like liquid mercury around the models’ hips and metallic silk dresses creating futuristic, borderline psychedelic auras, which seemed to transcend the confines of the runaway. You can say numerous unflattering things about Donatella Versace, but one thing cannot be denied: she truly does believe in marching to the beat of her own drum.

The sister of the late designer doesn’t show any remorse for her maximalist approach when it comes to dressing; and this is best observed in her red-carpet ready dresses-slinky gowns, with belted waists and statuesque draping. The almost invisible corsets from underneath seemed to be playing hide-and-seek; the only suggestion of their existence being the think geometric lines, reminiscent of tribal tattoos that were peeking underneath the dresses. One might think that the combination of tattoos and a voluminous ball skirt that could have been observed at one point was very un-Versace; but this impulse choice was defended by Donatella with the statement about the non-elitist and accessible nature of this particular form of body-decoration. Other embellishments were less obvious yet that much more personal, and of a quality that only a couture house could have pulled off; like the black jacked that closed the show, made out of tiny pieces of leather sewn onto georgette.
Ultimately, this collection was pure Donatella, even if the inspiration might not have come from within. The flash and glitz of the dresses, the kaleidoscope of used colors, the pulsating soundtrack signed by Lady Gaga; who is also the new face of the Versace Spring 2014 campaign; all that made up for a show that achieved the status of a fashion rock star. Now more than ever, it looks as if there is nothing that can stop the momentum that Donatella Versace has been building since the 1980’s, especially not this season.

Author - Maria Kruk

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