Spring 2021 Ready to Wear
Pictures by Versace
DARLING, IT’S BETTER DOWN WHERE IT’S WETTER
Donatella Versace Dives Deep for Spring
In a season where most people are emerging from quarantine with 10 extra pounds and sweatpants indentations on their hips, Donatella Versace goes ahead and drops the wettest, sexiest collection of the year. Does she hate us? Or does she just want better for us? Clearly, the latter is true, as she showed her unisex Spring 2021 collection as a live runway, shown via digital presentation, in a warehouse staged to look like Atlantis. Crumbling pillars, sand dunes, and streaming water projected on the walls set the stage as oiled down models, their skin glistening under the lights, paraded down the runway with their wet hair meticulously pasted to their faces.
The collection began with navy and white pinstriped separates, but this was definitely not office wear, or even work from home-wear. This was I want to be seen-wear. Sacha Quenby set the tone in low slung trousers with a hip cut-out, adorned with a gold chain, a style carried over from the Resort collection shown in July, paired with a cropped, long-sleeved scuba top. The intention was set: we are heading underwater…From there, vibrant colors were splashed on dresses, skirts, bathing suits, and men’s suits and athletic wear. Teeny-tiny shorts were worn layered and paired with bikini tops and blazers. Joan Smalls appeared drenched in a flamingo pink cropped cardigan, held together at the bust with a hope and a prayer, atop a ruffled skirt that begged for sultry nights filled with dancing; followed by Rianne van Rompaey in a multi-layered flamenco high-low skirt, again accompanied with a scuba-inspired top. The iconic Trésor de la Mer print, fashioned by Gianni Versace in the ’90s, appeared throughout the collection, honoring family heritage as well as tying into the under the sea theme. By the time a series of all-black ensembles appeared, we were ready for a pause in the chaos of color. Sculy Mejia brought back the hip-hugging pants with chain adornment seen in the first part of the collection, this time in solid black with a matching cropped tank top and oversized aviators, looking like the Men in Black for underwater creatures; followed by Sacha Quenby, on her second walk, in a black tuxedo mini dress, one of the few actual eveningwear looks.
As fun and diverting as this collection was, there were times it veered too far into its theme and distracted from the rest of the looks. The stunning Irina Shayk was, unfortunately, placed in two dresses; the first was a shapeless, solid orange dress with ruffles and an exposed orange push up bra that seemed to conflict with the lightness of the dress; and a baby blue satin evening dress, embellished with sparkling starfish, cupping her bust. Both seemed misplaced on the model. Speaking of models, Versace has finally joined the growing number of international designers including models of different sizes and shapes. How wonderful it was to see Jill Kortleve, Precious Lee, and Alva Claire given the Versace treatment, and about time at that.
Much can be read into the fact that Versace took us away from land and brought us down deep for her new collection, given the current state of the world, who can blame her? Inspired by the healing the earth was doing while we were locked away, Versace also emphasized a new ambition toward sustainability, using recycled materials and organic cotton. The world has changed in obvious and unforeseen ways, but one thing we can always count on is a Versace collection to deliver us aspiration, inspiration, and a heavy dose of sex appeal. Ariel would approve.
Written by Elizabeth Kramsky