Versace is all about unapologetic maximalism, and this season at Milan Fashion Week, the house took its roots into a bold new era. After guests entered the space at Piazza Lina Bo Bardi to find themselves staring at a massive fashion fun house mirror, Donatella Versace's first co-ed line hypnotised the crowd with flashy prints, leather, ultra-mini dresses, and a healthy dose of sparkle.
A season after breaking the internet by having Jennifer Lopez reprise her iconic Grammys jungle dress, Versace Fall 2020 went a bit more subdued (for Versace, that is). While there was no showstopping celebrity moment this time around, there were plenty of supermodels, as well as mesmerising teasers that featured a distorted, zebra-patterned statue of the Virtus V, which had an optical illusion effect and foreshadowed the plethora of animal prints across the collection.
Once the show started, the mirror switched to mesmerising animations, with Donatella Versace herself being the star of it all. She opted to start the show by projecting various images of her face onto the screen as a series of platinum blonde models entered in monochromatic black outfits, creating an otherworldly effect of uniformity.
But anyone familiar with Versace knew things would not stay so monochrome for long: the eclectic collection transitioned to showcase a series of preppy looks, athleisure, a limitless supply of anoraks, metal mesh, and little black dresses, all embodying the house's signature maximalism. It's also clear that mini bags are not going anywhere next season, as the collection showcased a series of tiny Virtus bags, often coupled with a larger version because, as fun as these are, sometimes you need to carry around more than just an AirPod or two.
The supermodel-studded cast included runway favourites like Kaia Gerber, Kendall Jenner, the Hadid sisters, Irina Shayk, and more. Bella Hadid's party-ready dress made a statement with its ultra-mini length and shimmering green stripes, while Gerber's inner lioness shone in an oversized animal-print coat, major sunglasses, and a slip dress with disfigured V designs that referenced more-is-more glamour from the '70s and '80s.
Nostalgia from a range of decades was evident in the collection, but together with the optical illusions, the maximalist show created an altogether new era of style. It was a bold first foray into co-ed collections for the house, and while we may not have a clear picture of exactly what 2020s fashion will be just yet, unapologetic personality is clearly key.
See all the looks below: