MILAN, October 1, 2002 By What’s Donatella Versace to do when the whole world seems to be going shorter, brighter and more colorful? Do it shorter, brighter, louder and, of course, better. If anyone is perfectly at ease with lime green, magenta, turquoise, yellow and pink, mind-blowing prints, and cuts that go flip-va-boom when a woman moves, it’s Donatella. All that is her birthright, and with this collection she showed the amateurs how it’s done.
When Amber Valletta came out in a hot-pink short skirt edged with grommets, the hem twelve inches above her knee, it was an iconic blast from the house’s past. But worked in fluid fabrics, the suit had a new feeling, and it was carried throughout the collection. Her brother’s influence is always present, but Donatella has her own confident point of view, which can even mean spelling out her name or adding her initials in gothic lettering on the backs of suits and dresses.
She evoked Gianni’s traditions with myriad bright, color-blocked-baby-doll and multi-print dresses, and paid him homage with grommet-studded dresses that recalled his great punk collections of the early ’90s. She took the chain mail that he loved for eveningwear and made it into hip camisoles, paired with great-looking skinny, rumpled linen combat pants.
Beautiful lingerie dresses were shown in the subtlest nude colors, as well as a black-lace cutout dress that looked like a second skin. The best moment, however, was when the models hit the runway in graphic, paneled cutaway swimsuits and jewel-toned satin cavalier boots. It was a parade worthy of Gianni himself.