“Gianni, this is for you!”

This collection was part homage to the brother whose creative estate Donatella oversees and nurtures. It was also a pragmatic rewriting of his codes for a new generation of consumers who post-date them. The opening section of chalk-stripe suits and short suits not only recalled Gianni’s original disassembly of executive wear but also featured a jacket shape very similar to his. This one was freshened by the insertion of panels of jumbled secondary stripe—or elevated by the replacement of stripe altogether, with fine metal chain stitched through the fabric. The bound-to-be-bought logo T-shirts in the Miami shades of dusty pink and blue, plus the logo pins on a jacket and a work coat, were drawn from the late ’80s. The two prints, one reading “Opera Balletic Teatro Cinema” and the other some pretty, plump putti, were both from the archive but—at least according to another source in the Donatella-less backstage afterward—never before used. These were, of course, featured in shirting but also patched onto denim or retooled as the fabric for quilted bomber jackets. And oh, that gold Lurex tracksuit.

The collection was accompanied by a special womenswear capsule designed entirely to complement the men’s, separate to Resort. It featured some awesome pieces and, like the seldom-seen-again womenswear that often accompanies Prada menswear, seemed to merit a meaningful retail platform. The black headbands worn by each girl were taken from Gianni’s last-ever couture show.

This collection wasn’t entirely retrospective. A few drawstring-gathered tracksuit pieces and the zipped two-tone sneakers were among the forward-facers here. Overwhelmingly, though, this was a collection that looked back but stayed present—and that should attract future Versace-curious customers to the house of Medusa.

Versace Spring Summer 2018 Men's Fashion Show

by LUKE LEITCH

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